AFL makes key admission after Collingwood dudded in 'staggering' farce
The Magpies were wronged by a number of calls in their one-point victory over Adelaide.
The AFL has admitted that umpires missed a blatant high tackle on Nathan Murphy in Collingwood's clash with Adelaide on Sunday, and didn't follow correct protocol to allow him to leave the field before play resumed. Fans and commentators were left fuming at the level of umpiring in Collingwood's one-point win, particularly two decisions surrounding the incident with Murphy.
Murphy was positioned under a high ball in the last quarter on Sunday when Darcy Fogarty crashed into him front-on and collected him in the face. Murphy appeared to hold the mark but it wasn't paid, and umpires failed to call a free kick either, despite the high front-on contact forcing him from the field with a bleeding nose.
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To make matters worse, Murphy hadn't made it off the field completely when umpires allowed play to continue, and the ball came dangerous close to him. Jordan de Goey soccered the ball over the boundary line because he didn't want to clatter into Murphy or the two doctors assisting him, but umpires pinged de Goey for deliberate out of bounds.
Murphy coming off presumably under the blood rule nearly gets collected because the play gets resumed and De Goey gets pinned for deliberate #AFLCrowsPies pic.twitter.com/cukr78z5rU
— Lace out (@laceoutofficial) April 30, 2023
Collingwood coach Craig McRae said he had "lost his mind" at the "staggering" umpiring blunder at the time, and the AFL admitted the mistakes on Monday. The AFL's head of umpiring Dan Richardson said in a statement: "Following a review today of that particular passage of play we acknowledge that the umpires missed the initial free kick and subsequently the process of managing the blood rule was not followed. We have been in contact with Collingwood to clarify the situation."
Murphy told Collingwood's website he was left with "a bit of a fat lip" and "a bit of a broken nose" by the incident. The normally calm McRae had lamented the entire incident.
"I lost my mind," McRae said after the game. "Because one, whether it was a mark or a free kick - either, you could argue.
"But then there's blood and he's trying to exit the field and we didn't get a chance to replace the player in the critical moment. I was astounded by it."
AFL world left fuming over 'horrific' umpiring
The AFL didn't provide an explanation as to why an obvious free kick to Ash Johnson wasn't awarded in the dying minutes. But McRae said he wasn't planning to follow it up with the AFL.
The Collingwood forward, in the goal square, was clearly taken high by Adelaide's Jordon Butts. "In the moment, I'm 'what the hell is going on here'," McRae said on Sunday.
"But then you move on. You can't do anything about it now, can you? You can go through every decision they made or didn't make, that is not where we live.
"We make way more mistakes than they do. You make mistakes and move on, that's the way I look at it."
AFL fans and commentators were highly critical of the umpiring, labelling it 'horrific' and 'disgraceful'. Luckily for Collingwood fans they managed to overcome the contentious decisions, with Steele Sidebottom scoring the match-winning behind with 25 seconds remaining. It marked the only time in the game that the Magpies were in front in the entire match. Of the last 12 games the Pies have trailed at the final break, they've now won nine times.
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