The AFL’s intentional out-of-bound rule has become a major issue again just a week before the 2020 Grand Final.
Fans were confused by a series of referee calls during the Port Adelaide and Richmond final with a series of inconsistent calls.
But it was a particular incident towards the end of the competition that certainly impacted the result as Richmond was rewarded with a shot on goal from 25 yards after an intent was paid against Port’s Hamish Hartlett.
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‘Deliberately’ decides in advance
AFL stats guru Joshua Kay revealed the true extent of the decisions, noting that six intents had been paid in the game but only 155 in the 159 games leading up to the final.
However, neither coach wanted to be embroiled in speculation about the incident, with consistency being key to success.
“It’s tough. The game is really hard to judge, “Richmond coach Damien Hardwick told reporters after the game.
“I think the consistency level, when we’re happy with it again, as long as it’s consistent, we’ll play with the rules that are there.
“There is probably a pair in the conditions that were a bit difficult, but it’s a high pressure game. The referees are also under great pressure. I thought they did a pretty good job that night.
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When asked if he was surprised by the interpretations, Hardwick said, “Judging from my reaction in the box, it has probably worked a couple of times. But as long as it’s consistent, that’s fine. ”
Port coach Ken Hinkley suggested the moment “hurt” but didn’t blame the referees for the end result.
“It does not matter. Referees paid it as deliberately out of bounds, I’m not going to judge the referees. It’s a high pressure game for them too, ”he said.
“It hurts, but we lost the game and it wasn’t a game or part of the game. I never sit there focusing too much on a decision.
“Everyone’s going to do it because it was last quarter and they score a goal from it and it’s a six point lead. But not for me, it’s a tough game to be a referee. ”
Former chief referee Peter Schwab was clear in his criticism on social media and stated that the referee had “no idea” to pay the free kick.
Retired Gold Coast Sun Pearce Hanley asked if this was the worst decision of the year in a now-deleted tweet, while Premier player Xavier Ellis suggested the game had been re-pirated like it was one last touch out of bounds.
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