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St George-Illawarra star Zac Lomax has defended his controversial incident with Newcastle's Tyson Frizzel that's left footy fans seething.
Lomax was involved in one of the more bizarre scenes in the Dragons' 21-16 win over the Knights on Sunday, after celebrating a try by jumping on his former teammate, Frizzel.
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It came just after Frizell had fumbled a Ben Hunt kick, allowing the Dragons to regain the lead midway through the second half.
A former Dragons star, Frizell reacted angrily by grabbing Lomax by the jersey and rag-dolling him to the ground, slamming the Dragons centre into the turf.
Fox Sports commentators Andrew Voss and Greg Alexander both took aim at Lomax at the time, for what they described as a "rubbish" act from the Dragons centre.
“Zac Lomax has gone in and hopped on the back of Tyson Frizell and then Tyson has thrown Zac Lomax down," Voss said.
“That’s just ordinary. No apologies, Zac Lomax you are kidding yourself... you deserve that and more.”
Alexander said regardless of the history between the former teammates, Lomax had overstepped the mark by rubbing Frizell's nose in the fact his mistake led to a crucial try.
“He might have been a teammate but you’re not doing that in the heat of the battle,” Alexander said.
“It was stupidity... That is rubbish.”
Fans were also less than impressed by Lomax's actions and took to social media to convey their disgust.
Dog act from Zac Lomax, old mate Frizell was already feeling bad about himself. Maybe Lomax should’a spent more time training than trying to take off his coach. #NRL #StGeorgeVsNewcastle #DragonsVsKnights
— & (@stanky_t0es) April 17, 2022
The Zac Lomax incident on Frizell comes from stupid try celebrations. An absolute clown. NRL Players act like you have scored or witnessed a try before. Some absolute carry on jumping on top and over each other regardless of score. #NRL #NRLDragonsKnights
— Buddy Watson (@BuddyWatson12) April 17, 2022
Lomax is a complete at utter flog for doing that to Tyson Frizell
— Chris Lumsden (@Chris2Far86) April 17, 2022
Zac Lomax is a clown, Frizell was well within his right to deck him
— Kyle (@kyle_waller2) April 17, 2022
Lomax deserved more than what he copped from Frizell. #nrlDragonsKnights
— Mr Ives (@real_MrIves) April 17, 2022
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) April 17, 2022
Knights enforcer David Klemmer also gave Lomax a serve after the match, visibly angry with him after the siren.
Zac Lomax brushes off controversy
But Lomax insisted there was no ill feeling between himself and Frizell, and his celebration had been in good fun.
"I am good mates with Friz," Lomax said.
"You have seen how vital he is to the team so I just tried to get him off his game as much as possible.
"It was a bit of friendly banter. It's all fun and games."
Lomax could potentially earn the ire of the match review committee of the incident.
Penrith centre Stephen Crichton was charged with grade-one contrary conduct last year and fined for bringing Canberra's Joseph Tapine into a try celebration last year, as he held an interchange card.
Lomax's offence was arguably worse, given the way he launched himself at Frizell.
But still, the 22-year-old said he did not expect the response he got from the NSW State of Origin second-rower.
"Yeah probably (a bit surprised), but it's all heat of the moment. And what's on the footy field stays on the footy field," Lomax said.
"She's all good fun."
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said he would speak to Lomax about the matter, admitting it was not at all needed.
Regardless, it was Lomax who had the last last he nailed a 25-metre field goal to win the match with two minutes to play after earlier coming up with a vital one-on-one steal.
"It was definitely the win we needed," Lomax said.
"We get belief out of that and wanting to play for each other. We were lacking that, a bit of belief in each other (previously)."
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