Melbourne defender Michael Hibberd has earned praise for his courage after falling over the top of two players and landing in a painful way in Tuesday night’s loss to Richmond.
Hibberd had busted his nose in the first quarter and spent time on the bench while Demons doctors attempted to stem the flow of blood pouring out.
He returned to the field with tape wrapped right tight his head, almost flattening his nose.
But by the second half he had removed the unconventional setup – only to land on his head and send blood pouring out of his nose once again.
Running back with the flight of the ball as the Tigers pumped the ball forward, Hibberd stuck a fist out and jumped as he crashed into Jack Riewoldt and Oscar McDonald.
The former Essendon player leapt to his feet and looked for the next play despite replays showing he had landed on his head in a horror fall.
“I can’t believe that he bounced straight up from this,” Luke Darcy said in commentary for Channel 7.
“Look at the courage.”
Cameron Ling argued Hibberd was fortunate not to come out of the ‘scary landing’ with something more serious than fresh claret on the nose.
“The head landing in that position, gee, you worry about the neck when you see that,” he added.
“Fortunately he jumped straight to his feet. He’s re-bloodied the nose, but that’s probably the least of his worries.”
Hibberd hardly looked a picture after the game but he was in good spirits.
“I kind of just had to go, I guess, and when I was up in the air I was thinking ‘just land nicely’ and I didn’t land nicely,” he told Channel 7 in the rooms.
“I landed straight on my face but lucky for me it was alright and I was able to get up and run away.”
The Demons went down by 46 points in front of 77,071 fans at the MCG.
Their second consecutive heavy defeat, Melbourne sit 14th on the ladder – albeit just a win an percentage out of the eight – after five rounds of a season that began with high expectations.