The footy community was left fuming after a “shocking” umpiring call gifted Hawthorn a set shot directly in front of the posts.
Collingwood has secured a thrilling four-point victory over Hawthorn at the MCG to sneak into the top eight, but not without another umpiring controversy.
After trailing for most of Sunday afternoon’s contest, the Hawks kicked four consecutive goals to reduce the deficit to just four points in the third quarter.
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But the footy community was left stunned when Collingwood defender Darcy Moore was penalized by a non-officiating umpire for contact below the knees following a defensive effort in the goalsquare.
The 26-year-old came into contact with Hawthorn midfielder Sam Butler while attempting to rush the ball through for a behind, and the Hawks were gifted a set shot directly in front of the posts.
Butler made no mistakes, kicking his first goal of the afternoon to give Hawthorn the lead for the first time in the Round 12 contest.
“There was an umpire within two or three meters of that who didn’t pay it, there was an umpire who was at the 50 meter mark who did,” former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy.
Five-time All-Australian Nick Riewoldt continued: “Moore gets there first. That’s not the right decision.
“He doesn’t take his legs out; Butler falls on Darcy Moore.”
Fox Sports commentator Brenton Speed called it a “shocking decision”, while CODE Sports’ Daniel Cherny labeled it “one of the worst decisions of the season”.
Collingwood ultimately claimed a 10.12 (72) to 10.8 (68) victory, continuing their impressive rise under first-year coach Craig McRae.
The Magpies looked on track for a big win early when they jumped out to a 30-point lead in the second term, but the Hawks responded brilliantly, kicking seven of the next eight goals to lead by 10 points in the final quarter.
Hawthorn had the chance to ice the game, but three consecutive behinds to Jai Newcombe, Chad Wingard and Connor Macdonald from gettable spots kept the Magpies alive.
A couple of minutes later, Jordan De Goey converted a massive set shot from 52m out in front in the driving rain to cut the margin to four points.
And on the stroke of time on, Oliver Henry kicked what would ultimately be the match-winning goal that put his Pies up by four points.
Hawthorn had one last chance at victory when Luke Breust grabbed the ball with 25 seconds remaining and attempted to drive the ball forward, but he was grabbed by Beau McCreery 60m out, and was pinged holding the ball, sealing the result.
But the victory came at a cost for the Pies with youngster Reef McInnes dislocating his shoulder in the third quarter, while Hawthorn veteran Jack Gunston appeared to reinjure his troublesome ankle, despite playing the game out.
The Pies finished with massive advantages in contested possessions (153-128) and inside 50s (59-37), highlighting the tremendous effort of the Hawthorn backline to keep their team in the game for so long.
Collingwood ruckman Darcy Cameron played one of his best games, finishing with 26 disposals (15 contested), nine marks, 18 hitouts and a goal, and first-year Pie Nick Daicos played the best game of his short career, ending up with 36 touches , 11 interceptions and 797 yards gained. Patrick Lipinski also stood out.
Mitch Lewis stood tall for the Hawks with four goals, while James Sicily and Blake Hardwick were great down back.
The Magpies will next face reigning champions Melbourne at the MCG on Monday, June 13, with the first bounce scheduled for 3.20pm AEST.
— with Ronny Lerner, NCA NewsWire