Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir believes Carlton players pulled the wool over the umpire’s eyes during the controversial finish to Saturday night’s match — but he doesn’t feel hard done by.
- Fremantle lost after a series of controversial decisions went Carlton’s way
- A failed smother by Andrew Brayshaw led to the umpires awarding a Carlton free kick
- But the umpires awarded Jack Newnes the ball, despite not being the closest player
The Dockers suffered a heart-breaking four-point loss when Blues midfielder Jack Newnes nailed a 45-metre set shot from the boundary line after the final siren, lifting Carlton to the 5.10 (40) to 5.6 (36) victory at Optus Stadium.
A series of controversial decisions led to the match-winning goal — and Fremantle was on the wrong side of all of them.
Arguably the biggest talking point was the fact that it should have been Michael Gibbons — not Newnes — who was awarded the final shot on goal.
With just 16 seconds remaining, Dockers forward Matt Taberner was pinned for deliberate out-of-bounds — a decision that appeared to be correct.
Sam Docherty quickly played on but his kick inside 50m sailed out on the full.
However, the Blues were awarded a down-field free-kick given that Docherty was bowled over by Andrew Brayshaw during a failed smother attempt from the Fremantle midfielder — a decision that immediately sparked debate.
Gibbons appeared to be the closest player to the ball when it left the field, but the umpires ruled Newnes the closest.
Longmuir said he was well aware of the mistake, but he copped the decision on the chin.
“Every team would have tried to do the same thing, and they probably pulled one over the umpire’s eyes,” Longmuir said.
“But that’s alright. That’s footy. We’ll take it, cop it on the chin, move on and get better.
Carlton coach David Teague said he was happy the ball was in Newnes’ hands.
“He’s a really straight kick, which I like. Especially when it’s a bit wet and slippery, you don’t really want to be kicking around corners,” Teague said.
“I just sat there and enjoyed it. That kick changes four points for our football club.”
But he said Gibbons also would have been a good option.
“He likes having those shots at training and kicks them quite regularly, so I would have been quite comfortable if he had that kick as well,” Teague said.
Longmuir didn’t feel Brayshaw did anything wrong in his smothering attempt on Docherty that led to the relayed free-kick.
“From what I saw, Andy Brayshaw goes to smother and makes contact,” Longmuir said.
“If the same situation arose again, I’d ask Andy Brayshaw to put frontal pressure on and try to smother the ball. That’s where I sit with it.”