Adelaide chief executive Andrew Fagan has weighed into the AFL umpiring controversy after their 15-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.
While the two teams played another pulsating match, following on from last year’s classic elimination final win to the Crows, Saturday night’s match at Etihad Stadium was marred by a lopsided free-kick count.
The Crows were cruelled – the free kicks were 20-5 against them at three-quarter time and 28-11 for the match.
Fagan went on Twitter after the game as Adelaide fans seethed about the umpiring.
“Feel your frustration @Adelaide_FC fans. To answer your Q’s-we will be speaking to umpiring department during week,” he posted.
Crows coach Don Pyke, who has shown he does not court controversy, also said in his post-match media conference that they would seek answers from umpiring officials.
“It’s not really for me to comment (on the umpiring) – you guys (media) know your footy,” he said.
“It’s fair to say it was pretty frustrating for our fans and our players.
“But we’ll address that with the umpiring department during the week and ask some questions.
“We’ll seek some understanding.”
Asked to explain further, Pyke said “next question”.
The Crows only trailed by three points with less than two minutes left, before Marcus Bontempelli’s booming goal sealed the Bulldogs’ win.
Key statistics show Adelaide did well to keep the game so tight – they had 10 less scoring shots, 31 less inside 50s, 81 less possesions and 17 less clearances.
“Those numbers say what they say – the game was played in their half,” Pyke said.
“But that said, I was really proud of our guys in terms of their ability to just keep coming.
“With a couple of things going our way there at the end, we could have snatched it.”
Josh Jenkins was best on field with eight goals – his best AFL haul.
“Josh played really well – a strong game from him – but we didn’t create enough opportunities for our forwards,” Pyke said.
Crows captain Taylor Walker continues to search for form, frequently going for marks but only kicking one goal.
“It was a ‘nearly’ game for Tex,” Pyke said.
“He’s on the way back up … he’ll keep getting better.”
While Pyke was willing to comment about the umpiring, he was not buying into the anticipation about next Friday night’s home match against Geelong.
It will be the first time that star Cats free agent recruit Patrick Dangerfield plays against his old club.
Asked about Dangerfield and the match, Pyke said: “Geelong are in good form – I saw them play (on Saturday), they played really well against West Coast and it’s another great challenge.”