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Furious Malthouse blasts umpiring anomalies

Carlton coach Michael Malthouse has bitterly condemned umpiring, in the wake of Carlton's narrow loss to Hawthorn, claiming there had been an apparent abandonment or reinterpretation of the dropping-the-ball rule.

The Blues were also furious – during the game and afterwards – that Hawthorn medical staff were on the ground, wearing dark outfits similar to Carlton's. So confused where they that Carlton players twice kicked to the officials.

Carlton team manager Shane O'Sullivan approached the emergency umpire on the bench about the Hawthorn officials during a quarter break. Ground manager Tess McManus intervened to tell O'Sullivan that she had already noted the incidents and the matter would be taken up by the AFL. O'Sullivan was seemingly not pleased that this would not stop the matter recurring during the match.

These controversies added insult to injuries for the Blues. Captain Marc Murphy suffering a fractured cheekbone in a clash with opposing captain Luke Hodge. He was substituted out of the game and taken to hospital.

"You lose your captain against a side like this, of course it has an impact. I don't think we lost the game because of that (but) it certainly didn't help. I would have liked the free-kick for it. I am sure he would have liked the free-kick for it," Malthouse said.

"We squared them off nearly everywhere; free-kick count we didn't, metres we were skewiff and the scoreboard but everywhere else I thought we did pretty well.

"I am sure it is an accident. But you know the rules, it is a free-kick . . . I would not dare suggest it is a report, because I don't think it is, but it is a free-kick.

"Have I missed something recently? I know I have missed the tackling rule, totally missed the tackling rule. That 12 months out has clearly had such an impact that you can tackle and dispossess and it is is now called play-on, that is something I have totally missed in the 12 months out I had commentating.

"(It is something) which I didn't overly see last year but that is a factor and it has been a factor against us for a few weeks now. We pride ourselves on our tackling and dispossession and the rule, I am sure, said something about 'if you don't dispose of the ball correctly, it is incorrect disposal'. Well, I guess we are a little bit bamboozled by that."

Malthouse said he could name a dozen incidents where such free-kicks had not been paid. The Blues trailed the free-kick count by 14-4 after half-time, including a run of 11 consecutive free-kicks for Hawthorn. Notably Jeff Garlett was not paid a free for interference or high contact in a marking contest in front of goal late in the game.

Of the 14-4 free-kick count after half-time, Malthouse said: "That says something, doesn't it? I don't know what it says, but it says 14-4."

Tough midfielder Mitch Robinson injured a shoulder or scapula and was hampered throughout the second half of the match, barely able to use his left arm, but the club said they did not believe he had suffered a fracture.

Malthouse said of his player's effort to remain on the ground: "You don't get medals for bravery in football. You just get out there and do it."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said he had reinforced to his team at three-quarter time that Carlton was "a tough team to hold for four quarters" and that the Hawks needed to keep persevering.

He praised key forwards Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin – who booted eight goals between them and were in stark contrast to the output from the Carlton key forwards – for hitting the scoreboard despite not having good games.


  • That was the worst umpiring I have seen including in 40 years of watching AFL football....goal umpire incorrectly overruled by video referee, obvious throw by Mitchell given a free against Carlton which cost the match, Gartlett monstered in the goal square but no free, Hawthorn players dropping the ball all over the place but only Carlton penalised....a total disgrace...the offending umpires need to be sent to re-education camp in Siberia...

    Date and time
    June 15, 2013, 4:22PM
    • I have to disagree with your comment about that goal. It was most definitely the correct decision however the umpiring was an absolute disgrace. Makes me loose faith in the game more so than the team. Nice to know Carlton can beat Hawthorne and looks like we could possibly be a top four side.

      Also good to see Hawthorne cop a scare like they did. I don't think they have a chance this year.

      Date and time
      June 15, 2013, 6:18PM
    • Seriously? This is the best excuse you can come up with? I was at the game as a neutral spectator and thought it was an even contest. Carlton just did not convert critical chances under pressure.

      No sense in blaming the umpires. There will always be decisions that go against you. You need to be further out in front to negate the impact and take advantage of the decisions that go your way.

      Carlton were simply unable to do this. Whinging won't win you a premiership.

      Changa's lost dreds
      Date and time
      June 15, 2013, 6:55PM
    • I won't lie, it is a delight to hear the Carlton supporters squeal. I almost wished they were robbed by the umpires, but the truth is that Carlton lost the game simply because the better team turned their game around after an ordinary first half, and the Blues just couldn't match it with them. Malthouse gave us his classic grumpy face after the game, which was also fun to watch, but the man would say and do anything to distract from more fundamental truths, not least the fact that his team threw everything at the Hawks and still lost. In case you hadn't noticed (and of course you didn't), there was an infringement just before Sam Mitchell threw the ball. Nor did the goal umpire incorrectly 'overrule' the video review. The video was inconclusive, and so the goal was (rightly) paid. The fact is, the umpiring was fine. The dummy-spit by Carlton supporters and their spluttering coach, on the other hand, was one of the more petulant displays I've witnessed in football this year. Really, couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

      Days to Come
      Here and There
      Date and time
      June 15, 2013, 7:43PM
    • the throw against mitchell was not given against Carlton. The poush in the back before it was the free kick as it happened first. The 'mark' to betts in the first or 2nd qtr where he hardly touched it and definitely didnt control it on the way to it hitting the ground was a joke. He kicked a goal from it. That was disgraceful umpiring. Carlton had a good run from umpires early. A couple of ordinary decisions I agree, but game changing??? not on your life.
      Typical carlton syndrome. blame someone else. They just arent good enough. Improving yes, contender no

      hawker of hobart
      Date and time
      June 15, 2013, 7:52PM
    • Didn't you see that the Mitchell free kick was for a high tackle that happened before the throw.
      I suggest you check the rules and the match before making this sort of comment.
      BTW - Carlton need to learn to tackle. They were on the wrong end of the nmbers but if you break them down there wasn't too many that would be argued against if (as I said above) you follow the rules and watch the play.

      Date and time
      June 16, 2013, 8:59AM
    • Well, Mitchell 'threw' the ball after a free kick for in the back had already been given to Lake. Therefore the ball was dead. So your example of bad umpiring is indeed an example of bad spectating. A spectating fiasco in fact!

      Date and time
      June 16, 2013, 2:55PM
    • These Carlton supporters need to get over it. Granted, a few decisions went the Hawks' way. But this season, Hawthorn has had its fair share of bad umpiring, as all clubs do. It evens itself out over a season. Take our R1 game against Geelong. The Cats got more than their fair share. We lost. No mention in the papers about any bad umpiring. You didn't hear Clarkson having a cry. We just got on with it and won the next 10 games.

      And one more thing. Hawthorn played terrible for the majority of the 2nd and 3rd quarters. We still WON. Don't blame the umpires (or our medical staff by the way). You had your chances to nail us to the floor and you dropped the hammer. Bottom line Blues - You were not good enough on the night. Move on.

      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 3:00PM
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the ball spills out in the tackle (and the player being tackle loses possession of the ball) it is play on. So I'm not sure what Malthouse's beef is there; if his players keep dispossessing their opponents in the act of the takle he won't be too happy with the rest of the season it seems.

    The thing that really grinds my gears is people (coaches/players/commentators/spectators) complaining about the free kick count. A half of footy that where one team is paid 14 free kicks to the opposition's 4 says to me that one team made more infringements than the other. In no way should the count be equal, it isn't the umpires prerogative to keep it even, his job is to pay free kicks when he sees them.

    If the umpires deemed carlton infringed 14 times in the second half, then that's the number of free kicks they pay. Simple. In no way should it be even 'just because'.

    Date and time
    June 15, 2013, 4:23PM
    • Mick Malthouse tell me something new and exciting?
      Not sure what Mick wanted Hodge to do in that incident with Murphy, because if you look at it, you will see Hodge has the ball in his hands and Murphy runs into him, so it's hardly Hodges fault, and most certainly not worthy of a free kick.
      On some of the other frees, yeah Hawthorn got the rub of the green this time, but it doesn't make up for the times when umpires have crucified them, just like Carlton have had their fair share of games when they are the beneficiary of the umpires. Its called swings and roundabouts Mick, so get used to it and stop whinging....

      Will Turner
      Date and time
      June 15, 2013, 5:14PM

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