The AFL has admitted umpires should have awarded the Demons a free kick after Adelaide defender Nick Murray handballed the footy out of bounds in the dying seconds of the Crows’ round 10 win.
His side in front by a point with less than 30 seconds to play, Murray disposed of the footy over the boundary line inside Melbourne’s forward 50 in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to get his team out of trouble.
The incident caused controversy in the days that followed, as a free kick would have allowed Demons forward Charlie Spargo to take a shot at goal, possibly stealing victory or drawing level in the process.
Much to the ire of the Melbourne faithful, the umpire instead called a throw-in, believing Murray had been attempting to pass the footy to a nearby teammate.
Consequently, the Crows held on, becoming the first team to sink the Dees this year.
On Monday, the AFL admitted the umpires made the wrong call.
“It was the view of the umpire in real-time, that from his angle there was a player in the vicinity and, as such, decided to call a throw-in,” the AFL said in a statement.
“Upon video review, it was deemed the player did not display sufficient intent to keep the ball in play.”
The curtain came down on the Demons’ winning streak last weekend. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Demons coach Simon Goodwin was diplomatic in his response to the incident following the loss.
“It’s still one of those areas we’re still finding our way in as a game,” he said.
Adelaide supremo Matthew Nicks added: “I believe there was someone nearby.”
“Was he aiming for the points? I haven’t sat down with him yet. It’s one of those hard ones, isn’t it, to make a call on.”
The Demons will hope to re-enter the winner’s circle when they face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Friday.
The winner of the game will move four points clear on top of the AFL ladder as the season nears its halfway point.
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