"It was one of those things that happened that shouldn't have" ... Shane Mumford. Photo: Getty Images
ON THE EVE of the biggest game of their respective careers Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford has spoken for the first time about the nightclub punch-up in the United States with Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis.
Mumford and Lewis will be key components for their teams when the clubs meet at the MCG on Saturday afternoon in the grand final, the Swan getting back to the best form of his career after struggling with a back injury early this year, while Lewis - who was a member of the 2008 premiership-winning team - is consistently one of the Hawks' best players, and led the way in their narrow preliminary final win over Adelaide last Saturday.
While the Swans confirmed at the time Mumford was involved in ''an incident with a player from another team'' at the Los Angeles nightclub Teddy's in 2010, he hasn't spoken publicly about the incident.
''Look, I'm happy to talk to about it. Yeah, it was just an altercation that probably shouldn't have happened,'' Mumford said yesterday. ''There's no ill feelings towards Jordan any more, it was just a one-off thing … that shouldn't have happened, but did.
''It was just one of those things that you look back on and you go, 'Yeah that really shouldn't have happened', but as I said, it did, and there's nothing we can do about it now.''
Mumford travelled to the US with teammates after their season finished with a semi-final loss to the Western Bulldogs. It was the ruckman's first season with the Swans having moved north from Geelong at the end of 2009.
Similarly Lewis and some of his Hawthorn teammates were on their end-of-season trip to the US when the two groups ran into each other at the nightclub, a haunt of several of Hollywood's rich and famous.
While he didn't go into specifics about what happened that October night in 2010 it's believed Lewis had taunted Mumford about his weight to a point where the ruckman had had enough and they came to blows, the Swan apparently knocking Lewis to the ground, although not injuring the Hawthorn star.
It's also believed Lewis's teammate Clinton Young had stepped in to try to stop the altercation, and was caught in the crossfire.
''I contacted the club straight away and as far as they were concerned, that was the end of it, I hadn't done anything wrong, so there was nothing that really came of it,'' Mumford explained.
Since then the pair have met on the field in three matches, and there has never been any follow-up to their Los Angeles night.
''On the field there has been no ill feeling towards each other,'' Mumford said. ''We don't go hunting for each other or anything like that.
''As I said, it was just one of those things that happened that shouldn't have happened.''
The Swans at the time said they were satisfied Mumford ''did what he could to avoid the situation'' and they ''deemed that no further action was necessary''.
Lewis may not have had the best of the bout, but so far he has been the one laughing last, as the Hawks have beaten the Swans in each of the three games Mumford and he have played since the altercation, including a semi-final win that ended Sydney's season last year. On Saturday we will see if Mumford gets his turn to laugh.