AFL talking points, round 4: Taylor Duryea clips AFLW skipper Stephanie Chiocci
The AFL ladder has turned into a logjam with six teams all holding a 3-1 record following the opening four rounds of action.
Undefeated Brisbane and Geelong were brought back down to earth as several teams recorded resounding victories.
Gold Coast saved the best for last as they pulled out a stunning win over the Blues with only 10 seconds left on the clock.
Here are the talking points from round four.
AFL ‘BEING EXPLOITED’ BY UGLY LOOPHOLE
The AFL umpires copped a major pasting last weekend when AFL great Wayne Carey led the chorus against them in round three.
But as the season rolls on, the heat only amplifys on the men with the whistles and round four saw plenty of vitriol directed their way.
On Friday night the commentary teams blew up when several 50m penalties were awarded only for the umpires to run well past the desired distance.
“That’s not good enough, you can’t give a team an extra 10 metres,” Matthew Richardson said on Fox Footy commentary.
But it was a different rule that came under fire during round four and it drew the blowtorch of former player Mick McGuane.
Carlton and Gold Coast put on the game of the round in a nailbiting finish that went down to the absolute wire.
Jack Bowes put the Suns in front with less than 15 seconds to play and the teams went back to their positions for the final centre bounce.
Before the ball could be bounced however the game was brought to a halt with the Suns handed a warning for having an extra player down back.
It’s not the first time a close game has been stopped with an offending team handed a warning for the error.
McGuane let rip on Twitter over the rule with teams simply “exploiting” the AFL, knowing they’ll only be warned and face no serious consequence for the indiscretion.
Message to AFL : please piss off the warning when a team doesn’t set up the 6,6,6 rule at centre bounces. Give a free kick against if they transgress. It is amateurish. It is being exploited. This is AFL football played by professionals so don’t give them an out. #AFLSunsBlues
— Michael McGuane (@MickMCG34) April 14, 2019
Liam ‘Leigh Colbert’ Jones. Ridiculous. Warning for 6-6-6. Just a warning with 10 seconds to go. That game was outrageous. #aflsunsblues
— peter ryan (@petryan) April 14, 2019
DOG GIVES AFLW SKIPPER A SMACK
All eyes on Sunday were focused on the surprising thriller that unfolded between the Suns and Blues on the Gold Coast.
Despite being arguably the game of the round, it was continually plagued by errors with both sides struggling throughout the contest.
Carlton fell painfully short as the Suns snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but the skill errors came back to bite them and former premiership coach Paul Roos didn’t hold back.
“The skill errors were just horrendous. There are so many players still making mistakes,” Roos said on Fox Footy.
“Carlton are young but so are the Suns.”
But while the action on the field was heating up, it was on social media where it really went to another level with Western Bulldogs player Taylor Duryea clapping back at Collingwood’s AFLW skipper Stephanie Chiocci.
Chiocci, in a since deleted tweet, applied the blowtorch to Blues youngster Paddy Dow for a horrendous mistake late in the game.
“Paddy Dow handballing inside to a teammate under the pump when he had runners on the outside … 40 seconds to go … my goodness gracious me,” Chiocci tweeted.
Her initial tweet was pulled up by a fan which forced her to respond, but her response was met with a clip from Duryea.
MILLION DOLLAR MAN PROVES HIS WORTH
Richmond were lacking their entire leadership group and were in desperate need of a hero during their Saturday clash against Port Adelaide.
Enter Tom Lynch.
Lynch joined Richmond ahead of the 2019 season on a seven-year contract worth a reported $6 million and boy did he stand tall.
Without skipper Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance, the towering forward played one of his biggest ever games.
A herculean effort in the final quarter saw him slot the match-sealing goal with less than two minutes remaining.
He ended with six as Richmond recorded their second win of the season and showed they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said the 2017 premiers used their status as underdogs heading in to their advantage.
“It’s the ability for our guys to take that and then play with the intent that they did,” he said after the game.
He made particular mention of 18-year-old Jack Ross, who impressed with 25 disposals on debut.
“It’s his poise with the ball and his ability to get the ball and distribute the ball,” he said.
“He’s been wanting to play AFL footy for a long time and they’re the guys you love to coach.”
UGLY NUMBERS AFL WON’T WANT TO SEE
The AFL wanted a free-flowing, high-scoring game to drum up interest in the game. So following the 2018 season they implemented a host of changes in the hopes of achieving their dream.
Four rounds in and the numbers paint an ugly picture for the head honchos who will be praying the early figures can turn around.
A month into the 2019 season and on only 14 occasions have teams surpassed the century mark for points scoring.
Compare that to last season, before the rule changes were brought in, and it’s almost less than half of the figure.
During the opening month of 2018 there was 26 occasions where teams had scored more than 100 points in a game.
It may well just be a learning curve the teams are all going through, but bosses will surely be hoping and praying the changes they implemented will evolve into more high-scoring contests.
Originally published as Dog gives AFLW skipper a smack