Geelong weren’t robbed of a potentially game-changing free kick late in their shock loss to St Kilda, according to the AFL.
Cats forward Tom Hawkins went to ground deep inside Geelong’s attacking 50 after tangling with Saints defender Dylan Roberton with his side trailing by three points with less than two minutes to play.
Hawkins appeared to feel the free kick was there and skipper Joel Selwood engaged in an animated conversation with the umpires after the final siren.
But umpires coach Hayden Kennedy said the decision not to pay a free was the correct one.
“What the umpire has to make sure is that he can see that one person has caused the trip,” Kennedy said on the AFL’s website.
“As you see the players head out to the ball I don’t think we can tell by the vision – and also the umpire’s position on the day – that one person is responsible … I think it was just a clash of bodies.
“I think what we see is that Tom’s back foot hits Dylan’s knee, which causes both players to fall over.
“So a really difficult decision obviously for the umpire, in a particularly difficult time of the game, but I’m comfortable in that decision being made.”
The Saints managed to repel several late attacks to hold on for a three-point win in the incident-packed contest.
Kennedy also gave his seal of approval to a contentious holding-the-ball free kick paid against Geelong’s Cameron Guthrie in the final term at Etihad Stadium.
An incident involving Patrick Dangerfield and St Kilda’s Jarryn Geary was assessed by the match review panel on Monday.
Dangerfield, the red-hot Brownlow Medal favourite, was cleared of any wrongdoing after it was ruled his errant knee to Geary’s head was an accident.
Dangerfield and potential game-breaker Steven Motlop were left stranded on the interchange bench as the frantic final minutes of the enthralling encounter played out.
But Dangerfield said that couldn’t be helped.
“When Steven and I came to the bench it was the right time to come off. I think there were about seven or eight minutes to go,” Dangerfield told the Nine Network.
“But the game is played on an oval and at the time it was being played on the other side of the ground for about three minutes.
“So it’s just one of those things that happens during a game. With the way rotations are … you’re not helping your team if you’re out there and you can’t run.”