AFL News: ‘Common sense prevailed’ – Bizarre boundary ump incident ticked off, Tigers’ odd claim on star’s injury


The AFL has confirmed the right decision was made after a ball ricocheted off a boundary umpire’s leg during the third quarter of Melbourne’s win over Richmond.

A Kysaiah Pickett snap at goal drifted across the face in the dying minutes of the term, hitting the umpire’s leg as he stood near the point post and rebounding infield.

The incident sparked debate a few moments later, with the Tigers able to regain possession but giving up a goal after the siren courtesy of a wayward Toby Nankervis kick across goal, with Caleb Windsor extending the Dees’ lead to 22 points.

However, according to Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph, the AFL have ticked off the decision to call play on rather than for a boundary throw-in, saying there was no certainty the ball would have crossed the boundary line had it not hit the umpire’s leg.

A bizarre moment as the ball stays in off the boundary umpire and eventually leads to a Caleb Windsor goal.

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— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) April 24, 2024

“The AFL’s own rule is if the ball touches an umpire or any official, and in the opinion of the field umpire it has not affected a score, the field umpire shall call ‘play on’ and the football shall remain in play,” Ralph said post-match.

“If this was on the other side of the point post, the AFL could have reviewed it.

“I think common sense prevailed here, even though we’ve had so many of these incidents across the boundary line. There are a lot of grey areas in the game, but the AFL is adamant that, in this case, official and correct procedures were followed.”

Tigers coach’s odd ‘tape’ claim on star midfielder’s hamstring injury

Richmond hope Jacob Hopper has avoided a serious hamstring injury as the luckless midfielder deals with another setback.

Hopper is set for another stint on the sidelines after leaving the field in distress in the third quarter of Richmond’s 13.7 (85) to 5.12 (42) defeat to Melbourne at the MCG on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old had felt for his hamstring earlier but waved away medical staff and played on, only to pull up sore when handballing mere minutes later.

Hopper, who had just returned from knee surgery, kicked a water bottle on the bench in frustration before heading straight down the tunnel.

Coach Adem Yze insisted Hopper hadn’t exacerbated the problem by staying on the field.

“I don’t think it made it worse. I think it’s one of the first games that he’s played with tape on his knee,” Yze said.

“We originally thought it was something to do with the tape, whether the tape was too tight or things like that.

“And he hasn’t hurt his hammy before, so he tried to stay out there and run it out. I don’t think he’s made it any worse, but I think the fact that he had the taped knee made it a little bit uncomfortable.

“Just feel sorry for him, hopefully it’s not a bad one but I think it’s just a minor tweak.”

A frustrated Jacob Hopper has gone down to the rooms with what looks to be hamstring issue.#AFLTigersDees

— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 24, 2024

Hopper joins the likes of Tom Lynch, Noah Balta and Tim Taranto among a lengthy injury list.

The 27-year-old was playing just his third match for the year.

Hopper played 16 of 23 games last year and just seven at GWS in 2022.

“We’ll just wrap our arms around him. He’s a terrific guy, he’s a really strong leader of our footy club,” Yze said.

“if he’s going to miss a game or two, we’ll get behind him and he’s a professional guy that will get himself back as quick as he can.”

Marlion Pickett could come under match review officer scrutiny for hitting Clayton Oliver in the stomach, causing the star Demon to drop to the turf just before quarter-time.

Given it was a body blow, Pickett appears unlikely to be suspended.

Yze said he didn’t see the incident but won’t speak to Pickett about curbing his aggression.

“He’s a tough competitor, Marlion, and if he’s gone outside the rules we’ll have to deal with that. But hopefully it was just a little love tap,” Yze said.

“It’s a tough one. He’s got some white-line fever and that’s what we like about him.

“So no, we won’t be curtailing that for sure. We want him to play hard and that’s his game.”


Jacob Hopper is seen to by Richmond medical staff. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Pies wary of Bombers’ forward line land of giants

Essendon have gone tall and Collingwood have gone small with their selections for the Anzac Day AFL blockbuster at the MCG.

Peter Wright’s return from suspension is the only change for the Bombers, while the Magpies sprung a selection surprise by naming Magpies youngster Harvey Harrison for his first game this season.

The inclusion of “Two-Metre Peter” means Essendon will have plenty of height in their forward line, with Harrison Jones also playing and rucks Sam Draper and Todd Goldstein rotating through attack.

After Collingwood coach Craig McRae had doubted on Tuesday there would be any changes to the team that belted Port Adelaide last weekend, they named Harrison for only the fifth game of his career and left out Reef McInnes.

But also on Tuesday, Magpies captain Darcy Moore hinted at the opportunity that might present smaller players such as Harrison if the Magpies defence can negate the Essendon tall timber.

“It is a tall forward line and lots of aerial ability,” the Magpies defensive general said.

“So for our defence, first and foremost, (it’s) sharpening our aerial game, for sure.

“That obviously starts with me and Billy Frampton, but we have lots of hybrid-medium guys who have a massive impact in the air for us … Isaac Quaynor, Brayden Maynard and Jeremy Howe.

“(They) do a lot of the heavy lifting in that department. It’s definitely a focus, but that will present some opportunities for us as well, potentially, at ground level.”

The weather might also be a factor with Essendon’s tall forward line, with rain forecast for Thursday morning.

Collingwood regained their mojo with the win over the Power and the reigning premiers will start favourites against the developing Bombers.

A big sub-plot will be Magpies veteran Scott Pendlebury, who is on the verge of becoming the first player to have 10,000 career AFL disposals.

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The Magpies have won seven out of the last 10 Anzacy Day clashes against Essendon.

Zach Merrett, who missed last year’s clash through suspension, will captain Essendon on Anzac Day for the first time.

He said Thursday will give them a reference point to how well they are improving, given Collingwood mauled them by 70 points in the Bombers’ final game of last season.


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