The AFL has been accused of inaction after an interchange blunder in St Kilda’s round 15 demolition of Richmond.
It was late in the first quarter of the Saints' 9.8 (62) to 2.10 (22) thrashing of the defending premiers that the incident happened with the umpire failing to notice the 19th man on the field.
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Three players had come to the bench with four replacing them as Jimmy Webster, Seb Ross, Mason Wood and Rowan Marshall all came onto the field.
Marshall is believed to have been the 19th man as he quickly ran off the field when the Saints bench realised an extra player was on the field.
Marshall was on the field for nearly 30 seconds before he was called off the field.
Foxfooty.com.au reported that the AFL interchange steward had noticed the extra player running onto the field but didn’t advise the umpires because they believed the player didn’t impact the contest.
This is despite the ruckman winning a hit out at a boundary throw-in after running on.
Mabior Chol and Rowan Marshall compete for the ball.Source:Getty Images
While the punishment at AFL level is a free kick and a 50m penalty, an extra man in local footy can see a team’s score for the quarter wiped.
Even if that had happened, it’s unlikely to have changed the result with Richmond going goalless in the first quarter as the Saints led 3.2 (20) to 0.5 (5) at the end of the first term.
Richmond’s 22 points for the game was its lowest score in 60 years.
The rule states: “In the event of more than 18 players on field, AFL Regulation 12.9.b (iii) shall apply:
“The AFL Interchange Official shall notify an Umpire who will then award a Free Kick and a 50-metre penalty when:
“The replacement Player enters the Playing Surface and who is deemed by the emergency Umpire to be involved in play prior to the Player to be replaced leaving the Playing Surface.”
It’s far from the only time a 19th man has been on the field with biggest storm coming in 2008 when the Sydney Swans had 19 men in the final minutes of a draw with North Melbourne, when Darren Jolly played 30 seconds and played a role in the match-tying point.
The AFL asked the Swans for a “please explain” at the time, but in the latest case the AFL only sent out a memo three days after St Kilda’s breach moving the interchange gate holding area a further metre from the boundary line from round 16.
Fox Footy reported that the AFL insisted the move wasn’t because of the Saints breach.
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