Was this 50m penalty a result of Cale Hooker’s shrewdness, Zac Bailey’s innocence or a flustered umpire error? Or all of the above? You be the judge.
Was this 50m penalty a result of Cale Hooker’s shrewdness, Zac Bailey’s innocence or a flustered umpire error? Or all of the above?
With his Bombers in desperate need of a goal during the second quarter of Saturday night’s game at the Gabba, Hooker appeared to help manufacture a 50m penalty to earn a set-shot close to goal.
After winning a free kick for holding the ball near the wing position, Hooker was about to handball to a teammate before Brisbane player Bailey appeared to move off his mark at around the same time the umpire had called ‘play on’.
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The wise Hooker, before he disposed of the ball, pointed out Bailey’s movement to the umpire, who then appeared to be caught in two minds about what to do next.
The umpire was seemingly halfway through saying to Hooker that Bailey was “not off his mark”. However Bailey himself appeared resigned that he’d made a mistake and given away a 50m penalty for not adhering to the AFL’s new “stand” rule when manning the mark.
Ultimately, the 50m penalty was paid and Hooker converted the set-shot attempt to kick the Bombers’ first major of the night.
But commentators believe Bailey was unlucky.
“I think he (the umpire) didn’t want to pay it, but by the letter of the law he had to in the end,” former Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy told Channel 7.
“Was he (Hooker) planning that? Was he faking it? Good move if he was.
“He (the umpire) called ‘play on’ and he hadn’t played on and he wanted his words back.”
Richmond legend Matthew Richardson added: “He said ‘play on’. It can’t be play on and then 50?”
Four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis said it was incumbent on the umpire to not make a panicked decision in situations like that.
“I think the umpire in this instance needs to have a little bit of calm about him and not penalise the player who is the man on the mark and doing the right thing,” Lewis told Fox Footy.
“I’m OK with the umpire there to say: ‘Sorry I mucked the call up, Hooker go back and take your kick, I’m not going to use it as a ball-up … go back and take your kick, I made a mistake.’”
It wasn’t the only call in the second term that perplexed fans and commentators.
Essendon young gun Nik Cox and Lions forward Eric Hipwood were both penalised for deliberate out of bounds.
The free against Hipwood, who soccered off the ground and kicked the ball forward while under pressure, seemed to irk Lions coach Chris Fagan the most. And commentators agreed.
“That’s the one I don’t get. He’s not trying to get that out of bounds. He’s trying to get it forward, he’s trying to attack,” Richardson said.
“It’s almost at the point where they should pay last touch because there’s not much else Hipwood could do then.”
Four-time premiership Hawk Luke Hodge added: “I think that’’s where common sense needs to come into it. It’s a wet game, that ball’s going to slide on, he’s run 50m to kick the ball forward off the ground.”
Earlier in the quarter, Lions midfielder Jarrod Berry was reported for rough conduct after a sling tackle on Cox.
However on replay, it appeared Berry’s head was well off the ground when he was brought to ground.
“I think the free kick was there, but I don’t think the report will be too much of an issue,” Darcy said.
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