Little did we know that it would only be the appetiser to a weekend filled with horrendously hilarious mistakes.
Josh Hunt, Geelong
The obvious and most publicised mistake of the round, and with good reason: this error gave Collingwood a lead with little over a minute left in the game. It’s not unreasonable to believe this lapse in judgement cost the Cats four points.
Alex Fasolo had marked on the wing in front of Hunt, and was tempted to play on immediately with team mates running in space all around him. Fasolo considered a quick handball, and shaped up to deliver a pass, but quickly decided against the move instead opting to kick the ball long into the Pies forward 50.
The considered pass was enough bait to tempt Hunt, who bit, hard, and wrapped Fasolo up in a tackle.
The rule may be unforgiving; but it’s an obvious call. Fasolo did not move his feet whilst motioning to handball, making the tackle illegal. It’s a rule all professional players should be comfortable and familiar with.
Fasolo converted the goal and Collingwood never looked back, leaving Hunt and Geelong to rue all the missed opportunities.
Umpires Review System, Friday Night
Midway through the third quarter and the game was enveloped in eerie, bizarre circumstances after Tom Hawkins shanked a shot at goal.
No-one was really sure if it went through for a behind or missed everything, and the umpires made the call to send the decision up to the emergency umpire in order to ensure the correct ruling was enforced.
After being introduced in the pre-season this year, the review system has been used several times to varying degrees of success. The idea is a good one, but sometimes the execution is lacking, largely thanks to incorrect camera angles. This has lead to a lot of ‘inconclusive’ adjudications, but Friday night saw the situation descend into madness.
The kick itself could qualify as a blunder, but the real action came from the review department, who were simply missing in action.
After the review was initially called for, fans, players, coaches and commentators waited for the usually quick review system.
After 100 seconds without any response from the man upstairs, it was apparent that something had gone wrong, and the umpires had to make a decision based on the decision on hand.
It’s safe to say that the AFL will be double checking their communications devices before the games this week.
Robin Nahas and Kyle Hardingham, Richmond and Essendon
A first for the ‘Blunders of the Week’ as these two players made staggering errors with two consecutive possessions. Normally we try to keep the nominations personalised, but these kicks were just too perfect to not include together.
The second quarter was well under way during the ‘Dreamtime at the ‘G’ match and Richmond were under siege from an in form Essendon outfit.
They needed goals to stay in the contest, so when Nahas marked on a 45 degree angle about 25 metres from goal, it appeared the Tigers were set to reduce the margin.
Nahas however, was not so sure.
He immediately looked in board for a passing option and looked decidedly shaky in front of the big stick.
With team mates urging Nahas to kick the goal, he appeared to settle and moved back to take the set shot.
Some ideas, obviously, are quite hard to shake.
Nahas attempted a pass which offered no real benefit to Richmond: if successful the ball would have only been in the hands of somebody else – the distance and angle from goal would have remained the same, making the result of the kick an obvious one.
Kyle Hardingham, who was only manning the mark, stole the bizarre pass, and it appeared that the Richmond chance was over, until the difficult task of using the ball arrived.
Hardingham kicked it directly to Dustin Martin, who goaled.
Sometimes, the less said about these woeful errors, the better.
Hero of the Week
For ensuring that Melbourne supporters have to be reminded of their dismal display against Sydney, Jeremy Howe wins the ‘Hero of the Week’ accolade thanks to his gigantic ‘speccy’ over Heath Grundy.
It’s been a tough year for Dees fans, and we truly do sympathise, but his grab looks set to become Mark of the Year, the irony being that the one award that seems set to be heading Melbourne’s way is one that will be a reminder of their lowest ebb of the season so far.
But, if we choose to focus on the positive, at least it provides a highlight for a club besieged with criticism and in need of a few breaks.