Malthouse fumes over umpire call on Garlett ‘goal’

While several coaches were delighted with a drop in the number of free kicks last weekend, Mick Malthouse has lashed out at the video review system for denying Jeff Garlett a goal.

The AFL has admitted the goal umpire had erred in not calling for a review of Garlett’s cheeky tap from the goal square in the first term of a stinging five-point loss to Essendon on Friday night.

The goal umpire was adamant the ball had spilled out and dribbled through for a point, but replays showed Garlett’s foot had made contact with the ball. The field and boundary umpires had an obscured view and could not comment.

Garlett is not a demonstrative character, and did not remonstrate with the umpires.

The ball was quickly kicked back in and, under league rules, play could not be halted for a review.

Malthouse said he would encourage his players to appeal to the umpires if that helped to prompt a review. ”If the prerequisite is to bellyache, scream, rant and carry on, I’ll have our blokes do it every time,” Malthouse said on Tuesday.

”It’s a disgrace if that’s the case. Jeff Garlett, you can jump all over his feet, he’d be the last to complain.

”Do we give credit for a young bloke who says nothing so therefore we should look, or someone else who’s a recognised screamer at a bad decision and we take that on board?

”If the prerequisite is for someone to bellyache, then the whole rule should be thrown out and forget it. Take the goal umpire at what he thought was the right decision.

”Otherwise, what are they doing sitting in the box upstairs? They have direct access straight to the umpires. If you’ve got direct access, halt the play.”

While Malthouse fumed, it emerged the average number of free kicks paid per team per game had dipped from a season-high of 23.3 in round two, at the height of the controversy of infringements such as hands in the back, to 14.3 last weekend, which has some commentators questioning whether this number is now too low.

Only 17 free kicks were paid on Friday night, prompting Malthouse and James Hird to praise the standard of umpiring.

Malthouse has several things on his mind this week, notably trying to find a way for the Blues to end a nine-game skid against the Hawks on Friday night. The Blues last prevailed against Alastair Clarkson’s men in 2005.

The Blues have had trouble curbing Sam Mitchell, who has averaged 27 disposals, including 12 contested, and five clearances per game. Lance Franklin has also been a handful, kicking 27.15, while Jarryd Roughead has booted 24.11.

Small forward Chris Yarran faces a nervous wait before the match committee, having apologised to teammates and coaches for his poor body language against Essendon.

Yarran began as the substitute and was only activated at three quarter-time. He had only three disposals, and lacked his usual spark.

”He admits it wasn’t good and I don’t think it was good,” Malthouse said.

”How we handle that, that’s for an internal voice and action. We will see how that pans out.

”Clearly, he didn’t have the right body language. We all know that. There is no use hiding that.

”He is the first to admit it. He has apologised for that. He is very remorseful about being in a position where he hasn’t taken on board the team theme.

”He fully acknowledges it. He will be far better for this. The club will be far better for this.”

Midfielder Andrew Carrazzo (calf tear) and ruckman Robbie Warnock (knocked knee) trained but remain in doubt.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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