Chris Scott wasn’t playing the blame game after he had every right to feel dudded by a controversial umpiring call in the dying stages of Sydney’s nail-biting 14.6 (90) to 12.16 (88) win over Geelong on Saturday night.
Jeremy Cameron thought he’d taken a mark next to goal with just a few seconds remaining and earned the right to kick the matchwinning major, but the umpire decided the ball didn’t travel 15m and instead went for a boundary throw-in.
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The Cats cried out for a holding-the-ball free-kick at the very end when Sydney’s James Rowbottom dived on the Sherrin from the resulting throw-in, but the officials kept their whistles quiet, and the visitors were left to rue what might have been.
Footy fans everywhere were adamant Geelong’s final kick went 15m — and then some — and while coach Scott agreed, he wasn’t going to sink the boot into the umpires. “I’ve looked at the vision. It’s clear it did (go 15m),” Scott said in his post-match press conference. “But it’s a different perspective for the umpire; he can’t go back and replay the vision. They’re tough calls.
“If Cameron had’ve had that shot, he’s the best person to have the left-footer from that spot. He rarely misses from there.” Scott said he wouldn’t be seeking an explanation from the AFL about why the decision was made because it was so clearly an error.
“They have a bit of a recent history of coming out and admitting their mistakes, which I think is probably the right thing to do,” Scott said. “But again, I think it’s tough to say that on the one hand, and I think we all agree with this, umpires don’t determine the outcomes of games.”
Swans coach John Longmire wasn’t wading into the controversy. “I don’t know, did it (go 15m)? I’m not saying anything about umpires; I know that” he said. There were plenty of fans on social media suggesting karma had come back to bite the Cats. They were the beneficiaries of an umpire blunder that prevented Brisbane from beating them at the death earlier in the season.