'Ugly look': AFL fans divided over Tom Lynch 'dog act'

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Tom Lynch appears to strike Essendon's Michael Hurley near the throat.
Tom Lynch could face sanction over an off-the-ball incident against Essendon. Pic: Getty

Richmond spearhead Tom Lynch is again facing a possible suspension over an incident against Essendon that's sparked plenty of debate.

Lynch was last week fined for an off-the-ball shot on Gold Coast's Sam Collins that was labelled a "cheap shot" from AFL legend Nick Riewoldt, among others.

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Against the Bombers on Saturday night, the Tigers forward again found himself at the centre of controversy, following an incident with Michael Hurley.

Replays appeared to show Lynch striking Hurley's throat after a tussle between the two players during the final quarter of the Tigers' 12-point win in Darwin on Saturday night.

Fox Footy’s Tom Morris offered a possible reason for Lynch's strike after the match, suggesting Hurley looked as if he was reaching towards the hand the Tigers star broke in July.

He added that Hurley could be fined for misconduct if that was the case, with Brad Johnson saying he didn't think Lynch had "anything to worry about on this occasion”.

However, the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph suggested that Lynch could be in trouble, tipping the Richmond star to be hit with more than just a fine this time.

“Lynch whacks Mick Hurley in the neck which is officially high contact. Hard enough to be a week. Hurley looks to be whacking his hand or trying to break his hold but it’s surely enough force for a week this time,” Ralph tweeted.

Plenty of other viewers shared Ralph's sentiment, with AFL fans seemingly losing patience with Lynch after his latest indiscretion.

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The incident is the latest in a string involving the key forward, who last week was fined $2000 for two separate off-the-ball hits against Gold Coast.

That fine followed another $500 fine for misconduct a fortnight earlier for pushing Brisbane defender Alex Witherden's head into the ground.

The AFL's match review officer Michael Christian will review footage of Lynch's clash with Hurley which shows the Tiger forward making contact with his right forearm.

The blow wasn't overly forceful but angered Hurley.

Seen here, Tom Lynch and Sam Collins were involved in an off the ball incident.
Tom Lynch hit Sam Collins off the ball in Richmond's win over Gold Coast. Image: Fox Sports

Lynch's coach Damien Hardwick, while saying he didn't see the incident, again defended his spearhead, describing him as a "hard, tough player".

And Hardwick indicated he had no problem with Lynch or any of his players treading a fine line regarding physicality.

"I have been around footy a long time, I have been really fortunate to be at some good organisations," Hardwick said post-match.

"All the good ones, they run the line all the time.

"They generally give away the most free kicks and they generally have the most reports. That is why they're a good side."

with AAP