AFL umpires coach backs Jong penalty

The AFL has ticked off a contentious umpiring decision in the final moments of the round 21 clash between Collingwood and Western Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs pipped the Magpies by three points, holding on to their lead during a frantic final minute at Etihad Stadium on Friday.

They had to work all the harder after Lin Jong was penalised by umpire Dean Margetts for deliberately sending the ball out of bounds despite attempting to tap it to teammate Marcus Bontempelli.

“It wasn’t a free kick. He was just trying to tap it to his teammate,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said after the game.

“But I just have faith that the umpire didn’t see (Bontempelli) … he must not have seen him.”

Umpires coach Hayden Kennedy said on Monday that Margetts got it right.

“We’re supportive of the decision (and) understand there’s a (teammate) in the vicinity,” Kennedy told the AFL website.

“You can see Dean takes a few seconds to weigh his options up and then decides there’s less (benefit of the) doubt given to the players this year.

“I understand Luke’s point.

“These are hard decisions that need to be made in the pressure of the game.

“Some of these decisions aren’t clear-cut – not 100 per cent right or zero per cent wrong.”

This year’s crackdown on deliberate out of bounds and rushed behinds has proved divisive, with many coaches saying they are confused.

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade was the latest to speak out, questioning on Sunday why Essendon weren’t penalised for two contentious rushed behinds.

Kennedy, who has contacted Eade, suggested one of the calls was correct and one wasn’t.

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