AFL great clips Brian Taylor in awkward on-air exchange

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Pictured here, Channel Seven colleagues Jimmy Bartel and Brian Taylor (left).
Jimmy Bartel and Brian Taylor had an awkward exchange during the Richmond and Sydney match. Pic: Getty

Richmond's victory over the Sydney Swans on Sunday was so boring at times that Channel Seven commentator Brian Taylor decided to find other things to talk about.

Critics have lined up to slam the Tigers' 4.10 (34) to 3.8 (26) win at the Gabba, which was the second-lowest scoring game in the AFL era.

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While the snore-fest of a spectacle did little to excite viewers, a bizarre moment in commentary provided far greater entertainment.

Taylor was clearly loathe to talk about the lack of action on the field so he decided to focus on the Swans' list management instead.

What transpired was a bizarre examination of how Sydney had cut players wearing No.1, No.2 and No.3 on their backs - all at the end of last season.

“It wouldn’t have happened for a while, Ham, that you lose jumpers No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in the same year,” Taylor told co-commentator Hamish McLachlan.

“But I can tell you it was 2001 when Carlton lost (Stephen) Silvagni, (Luke) Blackwell and (Kris) Massey all in the same year. Jumpers one, two and three. This is what you think about when things really aren’t attacking and lively.”

McLachlan offered an awkward response to Taylor's unprompted fact-sharing display, before his colleague decided to pick it up again moments later.

“The last eight minutes I’ve been thinking about that. I’ve been thinking, gee, when was the last time you lose jumpers one, two and three,” Taylor said.

“It just came to me.”

After going on his quirky tangent, Taylor tried to return the focus in commentary onto the footy match, by asking boundary caller Jimmy Bartel why the contest was so dour.

"It’s because the Swans have been taking the free one on,” the former Brownlow Medallist said.

“They’ve got so many uncontested marks, 25-8. They’ve just been taking what Richmond’s been giving them. They’re trying to avoid kicking long to a contest.”

Not satisfied with the response, Taylor then asked Bartel to give him a "really good reason", prompting an irritable swipe from the Geelong legend.

"But that’s why the game’s been slowed down," Bartel insisted.

"Because Richmond’s been sitting back in defence and the Swans are just keeping the ball. Are you happy with that or do you want to go back to jumpers?"

Bartel's classic clip stopped the conversation and the mention of jumper numbers dead in their tracks.

Pictured here, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick addressing his players.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was not happy with the spectacle the Swans and his Tigers dished up. Pic: Getty

Debate heats up over dour spectacle

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was among those to slam Sunday night's spectacle, blaming the Swans' negative tactics for the snore-fest.

"There's not much I can do; we're attacking and we've got 75,000 people in our forward 50, so it's pretty hard," Hardwick said.

"We've got to figure out how to negate it because it's probably happened a couple of times this year and it's become a tactic in the AFL.

"Fold back mentality is really keeping sides in games and it's creating the game that we got tonight. It's not pretty."

Sydney coach John Longmire hit back at Hardwick's comments and urged coaches to avoid "finger pointing" at one another.

"I'm not sure it's my role to walk up to Damien's coaches' box and knock on the door and say 'what would you like us to do?'," Longmire said.

"I thought the coaches were really collegiate and I was hoping that would still be the case.

"But we've got to be careful as an industry (that) we don't drop into this habit of potting other people and finger pointing.

"It's a bit of a challenging time for all of us and we need to take a deep breath and help each other through this.

"Damien called me straight after the game and apologised for the comments, which I appreciated. But as I said to Damien they are out there."

Longmire has a policy of not commenting critically on other clubs and urged other coaches to take the same approach.

"We've just slipped into a bit of a habit of making strong comments on other teams and it's unnecessary," he said.

"I find it difficult enough to coach our own club. I've got enough on my plate looking after our own players without giving advice to others."

with AAP

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