Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley insists he’s telling the truth: he didn’t see Taylor Adams knee a Port Adelaide opponent.
But television cameras, thousands of spectators, and some Port players did – and so will the AFL’s match review panel.
Adams faces suspension for dropping a right knee into the head of Port’s Justin Westhoff during Collingwood’s three-point loss in Adelaide on Thursday night.
“I didn’t see it, and I can tell you that hand on heart,” Buckley said.
Adams became a villain to the Adelaide crowd because of the third-quarter incident.
But the controversy didn’t affect his output – he finished with a game-high 37 disposals in a rain-soaked encounter.
“In 74 per cent game, to have 37 touches, seven clearances, six tackles – it’s a midfielder’s night, it’s a grinding night when conditions get like that,” Buckley said.
“And Tay just grinds away and that is exactly what he did.”
Buckley blamed the defeat for Collingwood’s sluggish start – they didn’t score for 19 minutes while Port kicked five first-term goals.
“It was really poor coming out of the sheds when conditions were half decent,” he said.
“We got smashed around the ball, clearances, leaked goals, didn’t defend particularly well. To give up eight shots of 21 and five goals of nine in the first quarter is bad footy.”