Hawkins stars as ‘disgraceful’ ump drama mars Cats win
Tom Hawkins bagged five goals to lift Geelong to an absorbing 10-point win over Brisbane on Friday night, but an asterisk sits beside his haul of majors and the Cats‘ win.
Geelong’s 11.14 (80) to 11.4 (70) win at Kardinia Park was shrouded in controversy when Hawkins pushed Brisbane defender Harris Andrews in the back late in the match and avoided conceding a free kick.
The umpire explained his decision to Andrews and, after the game, St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt slammed his reasoning as “disgraceful” and “completely absurd”.
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The push in the back allowed Hawkins to mark the ball and, after playing on, he snapped a goal to seal the win.
“That was clearly hands in the back with a push,” said former Hawthorn premiership-winning captain Luke Hodge on the Seven broadcast.
“I don’t know what else is in the back if that isn’t,” added Richmond great Matthew Richardson.
The umpire hit back at Andrews when the two-time All-Australian fired up at the non-call.
“He didn’t push you in the back,” the umpire said.
“You were both running forward and momentum took you forward.
“He’s held his ground.”
Riewoldt blasted the umpire’s explanation.
“Umpires make mistakes and we’ve come a long way already this year in our non-bashing of the umpires. So, when an umpire makes a mistake, don’t give us that disgraceful explanation,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy’s post-game coverage.
“That was non-sensical… that’s trying to dig yourself out of a hole with just a completely absurd explanation.”
The first question Chris Fagan was asked in his post-match press conference concerned the umpire’s non-decision, but the Lions coach didn’t bite.
“Better off to let you blokes talk about that,” Fagan said.
“I don’t comment on umpires. It’s a difficult game to umpire.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at the replay.
“… it wouldn’t be a good idea to say anything at this point in time, I don’t think.”
The first half produced 13 goals but, remarkably, neither side kicked consecutive majors.
Brisbane snared four third-term goals to Geelong’s two to take a one-point lead into the final change, before the Cats poked ahead and staved off the Lions.
Cats livewire Quinton Narkle was substituted off for Zach Guthrie with an ankle injury during the third quarter and was later seen in a moon boot.
Geelong will shoot for back-to-back wins in a clash with Hawthorn at the MCG in round five, while Brisbane is set to meet Collingwood at the Gabba.
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