Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin concedes his players were ‘exposed’ when a controversial free kick was paid against an oblivious Angus Brayshaw in Saturday night’s defeat to Geelong.
But he will get in touch with the AFL after multiple Demons players were shocked by the decision.
Brayshaw blocked the run of Patrick Dangerfield at a second-quarter ruck contest inside Geelong’s forward 50, with the Demons midfielder penalised after the umpire said his Cats rival had nominated for the ball-up.
A gobsmacked Gawn and Bernie Vince remonstrated with the umpire but the free kick stood and Dangerfield kicked his second major in what turned out to be a two-point game.
“How Angus Brayshaw is meant to know that Patrick Dangerfield’s going up in the ruck from 10 metres away is staggering,” Goodwin said.
“We’ll obviously get some clarification … we got exposed on that play and it’s a goal we don’t get back.”
While multiple Melbourne players were unaware Dangerfield had nominated, former Sydney Swans star Jude Bolton claimed Brayshaw’s helmet would have made it more difficult for him to hear the umpire’s voice from a distance.
“I’ve worn a helmet, you can’t hear anything. Either way, the (ruck nomination) rule creates confusion. Terrible look for the game. Get rid of it!” he tweeted.
“Sometimes you can’t hear even the clearest of instruction out on a footy field. Brayshaw just sees a dangerous player and finds him.”
The defeat meant Melbourne blew a golden opportunity to climb into the top four, giving up a 29-point lead early in the final term before Zach Tuohy’s goal after the siren secured a thrilling two-point Geelong victory.
The Cats’ dominance around the ball in the fourth quarter turned the game with Tom Hawkins capitalising on a glut of supply from Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Tim Kelly to boot four of his seven majors in the final term.
The result leaves the Demons sixth on the ladder and means they are yet to beat a team inside the top eight this season.
A frank Goodwin conceded his “shattered” charges were at a point where admirable losses were not good enough.
“You’ve just got to find a way in games like this,” he said.
“We’ll keep exposing ourselves but you can judge by the players’ reactions tonight, they’re getting pretty sick and tired of being in this position and letting it go.
“We got taught a lesson in the last quarter by a really mature midfield group … we need to be better if we want to take that next step.”
Goodwin said inefficient forward entries, poor decision-making and a lack of game sense had all let the Demons down late in the game.