AFL umpires blasted over ‘farcical’ non-decisions

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has suggested that umpires should come under more scrutiny after a number of dubious decisions caused an uproar in Richmond’s win over Essendon.

While the Tigers ran out comfortable 39-point winners in the Dreamtime clash, fans were left aggrieved over a number of holding-the-ball non-calls during the game.

The first incident saw Richmond forward Jake Aarts attempting to fight off a Jordan Ridley tackle in the Tigers forward pocket, before dropping the ball.

Even Aarts’ teammate Dustin Martin, who was near the contest, came to a stop expecting the umpire to blow the whistle, before play on was called.

There was a second incident which was particularly costly for Essendon, when Dylan Grimes failed to dispose of a ball correctly while being tackled at the top of the Bombers’ goalsquare.

Once again, the umpire failed to blow the whistle, with Richmond going down the other end to score a goal shortly after in a brutal 12-point swing against the Bombers.

The two non-decisions continued what has been a glaring lack of consistency across games this season with regards to umpires’ adjudications of the holding-the-ball rule, and Cornes urged the AFL to take action.

“We’ve got to be demanding better of our umpires,” he told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.

“You just have to get these decisions right in big games and in crucial moments. There’s been four games this year decided by poor umpiring decisions late.

“We have to be better and I hope the AFL comes out and clarifies those errors and perhaps those umpires that made (the errors), I don’t know, do they get dropped? You’ve got to be better than that.”

Cornes’ call came after a number of AFL journalists and fans were left scratching their heads during the match.

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