A contentious deliberate out of bounds non-call has marred Adelaide’s stunning upset win over ladder-leaders Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval.
After trailing by 16 points in the final quarter, the Crows stormed home and took the lead courtesy of a Taylor Walker goal in the final minute of play.
However, following the ensuing centre bounce, where Demons star Christian Petracca won the clearance and sent the ball into the Demons’ attacking 50, the Crows were lucky to dodge what looked to be a clear-cut deliberate handball out of bounds from defender Nick Murray.
With the Crows clinging to a one-point lead and 32 seconds remaining on the clock, Murray was under pressure and facing his own goal when he handballed towards the boundary line, only for the umpire to call a throw in.
The decision left Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall stunned on commentary for Fox Footy.
“That has to be deliberate doesn’t it?” Dunstall asked co-commentator Garry Lyon, who was equally stunned. “It’s 10-metre handball to the boundary line!”
Dunstall’s sentiment was echoed by Bulldogs great Brad Johnson, who said Murray’s handball towards the boundary line was “completely deliberate”.
“Melbourne fans at home will be screaming about that deliberate out of bounds non-call,” Johnson told Fox Footy.
“For me it was deliberate, completely deliberate and it should’ve been called that by the umpires.”
Following his side’s first defeat of the season, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin refused to heavily criticise the umpire for the non-call, calling the deliberate out of bounds rule “one of those areas that we’re still finding our way as a game”.
The call also left a number of AFL fans stunned, especially given the umpires’ strict enforcement of the deliberate out of bounds or “insufficient intent” rule throughout the year.