Blues midfielder Jack Newnes booted a goal after the siren to lift his side to victory over Fremantle, but the umpires made a mistake in awarding him the kick.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir reckons 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.
The Dockers suffered a heart-breaking four-point loss when Blues midfielder Jack Newnes nailed a 45m 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 were 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 looked correct.
Sam Docherty quickly played on but his kick inside 50m sailed out on the full.
However, the Blues were awarded a down-the-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 was clearly the closest player to the ball when it sailed out on the field.
But the umpires were somehow convinced that it was Newnes who had been closest.
Longmuir 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.
“I think they did a pretty good job of getting the right player the ball. But I would have been asking our players to do exactly the same thing in the same situation. So the result is done, it’s in the book.”
Carlton coach David Teague 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 also said Gibbons 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.”