Melbourne coach Paul Roos has taken a shot at the umpires in his team’s 16-point loss against the Bulldogs over one free kick that wasn’t paid and one that was.
Dogs key forward Liam Jones looks sure to be in strife with the match review panel after collecting Melbourne defender Dean Terlich with a shoulder in the third quarter. Terlich was at first temporarily subbed out of the game under the concussion rule, replaced by Christian Salem, but was unable to resume and Salem finished the match.
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The Western Bulldogs defeated Melbourne by 16 points in a tight clash at the MCG.
Roos was clearly bemused by the fact no free kick paid in the Terlich incident, but also by a critical free paid to Bulldog forward Stewart Crameri for a push in the back by Demon defender Lynden Dunn when Melbourne led with only six minutes remaining.
‘‘In all seriousness, what was it for?’’ Roos asked of the Crameri free kick. ‘‘I’m not trying to be smart, but I didn’t know what the free kick was for.’’
Roos was understated when asked whether the decision had come at a critical moment. ‘‘Reasonably.’’
Of the Jones-Terlich clash, the Melbourne coach said he was ‘‘surprised’’ by the lack of a free kick to his player, who had to be helped from the field.
‘‘I just get a little surprised there’s no free kick. I mean that’s probably the biggest surprise for me. I’m pretty sure he got hit in the head because he came off concussed and couldn’t go back on,’’ Roos said. ‘‘It doesn’t really worry me one way or another where it goes, I didn’t have that good a look at it other than the fact that I know a player got taken high, so surely it’s got to be a free kick I would have thought.
‘‘I'm absolutely staggered [there was no free kick]. But to be fair the umps, sometimes they might be standing behind a player or whatever it will be, I can’t speak for them. But I’m surprised it’s not a free kick.’’
Roos said his team’s final term was a good lesson in composure. Melbourne kicked 2.5 for the quarter after having booted 10.6 to three-quarter time, James Frawley and Jay Kennedy-Harris both missing opportunities, and Matt Jones missing from 30 metres out on the run with no opposition, his second miss of the quarter. A goal would have left the Demons one point in front with only a touch over four minutes to play.
‘‘At crucial times in the game, they just did those little things a bit better than we did and in the end that really was the difference,’’ Roos said. ‘‘It was a terrific game, a combative game, but at the end of the day, it just shows the Bulldogs' development at this stage is a bit ahead of our development.’’
Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney hailed his team’s courageous win, the Dogs having notched a crucial third win of the season as they head into their first bye weekend of season 2014.
The Bulldogs, who trailed the Demons by a point with under six minutes on the clock, were able to run out 16-point winners despite the loss of Tory Dickson with a shoulder injury before half-time, the change made only moments before key forward Tom Willams injured a calf.
McCartney said after the game that the injury-plagued big man would have been subbed out had the Dickson injury not already occurred. But Williams not only soldiered on, he finished with three goals, including the critical first of the final term as the Bulldogs booted six goals to Melbourne’s two.
‘‘It was a brave effort,’’ McCartney said. ‘‘There were some brave soldiers out there. I’ve been in footy a long time so you do get to see some great wins. [But] it was an important win for where we’re at. We could easily have another couple in the bank … We’re learning to turn up most weeks, and that's what we need to keep doing, No stars, everyone doing their little bit.
‘‘We’ll get injury clinic tomorrow and assessment [of Williams]. It’ll be a strain there somewhere and probably a bigger strain now because of his brave effort. But we've had a couple do it this year. It’s not something you want to advocate [playing on injured], but ‘Roughy’ [Jordan Roughead] did it for us round three.
‘‘We were pretty proud of Tom, because he had a rough day a few weeks ago and incurred a lot of criticism, a lot of Western Bulldogs people were really hard on him, and he’s bounced back. And that’s what this game can do for you. Anyone who's been in it for a fair while, you have your tough days and it's what you learn out of those and how you bounce back. It's a good lesson.’’
McCartney said his side would be looking forward to its week off, and would be given the entire weekend off as well as they were not scheduled to play until the Sunday afternoon of the following weekend.
‘‘[We want to] give them give them a good spell because it’s a big nine weeks coming,’’ he said. ‘‘I think there’s been a lot written about the game, but I think we’re going to see some great footy played in the next eight to 10 weeks, and it’ll be interesting to see how teams go when they have that week's break and come back fresh.’’