Hawthorn’s Daniel Howe has been slammed by fans and could be in trouble with the AFL’s Match Review Officer after a nasty incident involving Carlton’s Patrick Cripps on Sunday.
The match wasn’t even 20 seconds old when the pair tangled while the ball was out of play.
Both players were grabbing at each other’s jersey’s before Howe appeared to punch Cripps in the face.
The contact left the Carlton man lying on the turf as teammates rushed in to confront Cripps.
A scuffle ensued between two Blues players and Hawthorn’s antagonist, as Cripps remained prone on the ground clutching at his face.
“I don’t think he meant to punch him in the jaw… he was just trying to make a physical statement,” David King told Fox Footy.
That view wasn’t shared by many on social media, with plenty of fans taking the view that Howe should be punished for intentionally striking his opponent.
100% punch to head!
— Daniel Gilder (@DGilder38) July 22, 2018
Damn straight. Dog act.
— BVD (@VBrad) July 22, 2018
Definitely one week
— Ashley Moore (@ashmoore69) July 22, 2018
Intentional, low impact to the head = 1 week. Ball was out of play so it will definitely be deemed intentional.
— Luke (@Go_Saintz3) July 22, 2018
Needs to be 3 minimum. Punch in the head no matter what the result has to be punished hard.
— Rick Lyon (@ricklyon) July 22, 2018
It was a first quarter to forget for Carlton, who were kept scoreless for the first time in more than five decades.
Only the second scoreless Q1 for Carlton since 1964:
1990 R18 Footscray 4.2 (26) v Carlton 0.0 (0)
2018 R18 Carlton 0.0 (0) v Hawthorn 4.3 (27)#AFLBluesHawks
— InsightLane (@insightlane) July 22, 2018
The Blues did manage to get onto the scoreboard in the second term but went into the main break trailing by a whopping 1.2 (8) – 8.7 (55).
Brownlow Medal favourite Tom Mitchell continued his barnstorming season, leading the undermanned Hawks to a 72-point demolition job of Carlton by full time.
The Hawks looked vulnerable before Sunday’s match at Etihad Stadium when Mitchell’s midfield colleague Jaeger O’Meara added to their injuries.
He was a late withdrawal with a hip problem.
But the Hawks made sure there would be no repeat of Saturday’s shock Gold Coast win over Sydney, easily winning 18.16 (124) to 7.10 (52) .