Sydney coach John Longmire couldn’t fault his charges’ efforts in a close home loss to Collingwood, although two of his co-captains didn’t have much luck.
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.
“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.
“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.