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Embarrassed Swans captain Rampe sheds light on 'backchat blunder'

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13th May, 2019
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An “embarrassed” Dane Rampe has explained his backchat blunder and goal-post gaffe as the AFL mulls whether to fine Sydney’s co-captain over incidents that have overshadowed a win over Essendon.

The league issued the Swans with a ‘please explain’ on Monday, when Rampe continued to come under fire for telling an umpire he talks “like a little girl”, plus bizarrely scaling a goal post during a chaotic after-the-siren finish.

AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking will assess Rampe’s response before deciding whether to formally charge and fine the gun defender.

The club has posted a video of Rampe, offering a contrite take on both SCG incidents, on its website.

It’s understood the 28-year-old has also already provided a written response to Hocking. Earlier this year, Hocking fined Richmond superstar Dustin Martin for a pair of offensive gestures during a game.

It’s believed the AFL is more likely to sanction Rampe’s second-quarter verbals, which came as he fumed at whistle-blower Jacob Mollison, rather than his post-siren post climb.

“By no means did I mean any disrespect to them (umpires). I know it’s a hard job and, at times, my frustrations can boil over,” Rampe said in Monday’s video.

“More important is my poor choice of words.

“I was frustrated that I didn’t hear the call. By no way of imagination did I mean for my comments to be derogatory to girls.

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“Being called a girl is something that should be celebrated and I genuinely mean that. I’ve learned from my mistake and I’ll definitely keep that front of mind.”

Rampe, a local product who was snapped up in the 2012 rookie draft and had since become one of the league’s best key defenders, was appointed co-captain alongside Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy for this season.

AFL laws stipulate that players must not intentionally shake a goal or behind post.

Rampe insists that wasn’t his intention as Essendon midfielder David Myers unsuccessfully attempted to slot a match-winning goal from beyond the 50m arc.

“I don’t know what I was thinking … I just got caught up in the emotion of it. Safe to say I won’t be doing that again,” Rampe said.

“I’m a little bit embarrassed by it.

“There was no malice intended and, ultimately, I’m a bit disappointed that the attention has all been on me this week, rather than a really good, sound team win.”

Swans coach John Longmire lamented Rampe’s attempt at banter, which was branded “disrespectful” by Essendon great Tim Watson, but defended his co-skipper’s character.

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“It was a pretty poor choice of words – he knows,” Longmire told reporters on Monday.

“You address it and move on … he’s a real quality person. He made a couple of mistakes; he’ll learn from that and move on.”

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan praised the “practical” umpiring of whistle-blower Andre Gianfagna, who warned Rampe and ordered him to come down from the post – rather than award a free kick in the goal square that would have ensured the Bombers snatched victory.