Sport AFL Malthouse keeps cool after free kick

Malthouse keeps cool after free kick

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Carlton’s two tight losses to Geelong this AFL season both featured controversial umpiring decisions at the death.

But this time around Blues coach Mick Malthouse has no interest in bemoaning a “roll of the dice” that helped the Cats get over the line on Friday night.

The Blues held the lead for most of the second half at Etihad Stadium, only to hand it over with three minutes remaining when Allen Christensen kicked the match winner.

The non-controlling umpire, stationed approximately 50m away from the ball, awarded the decisive free kick to Christensen.

In round 12 at the same venue, Malthouse felt Mitch Robinson and Troy Menzel both deserved a free kick deep in the Blues’ forward line in the dying seconds.

“It needs a brave decision,” Malthouse said at the time.

On Friday night the three-time premiership coach was more reserved when asked about the decision to penalise Sam Docherty’s crucial spoil.

“A bit strange. Especially when the senior umpire was 20 metres away and I think he got it right,” Malthouse said.

“In the spirit of the game, the way it was, it was probably play on.

“That’s the way it is (the non-controlling umpire can award a free kick). It’s always been like that, they support each other.

“I’m not going to be crook on that … it’s no use (complaining). That’s just the roll of the dice.”

Geelong coach Chris Scott noted there was a “huge delay” with the Christensen decision.

“I think that frustrates the opposition supporters more, because you feel like you’ve got away with one then there’s a bit of a delay and they call it back,” Scott said.

Carlton’s David Ellard will have scans on a foot injury, while Menzel (shoulder) and Dale Thomas (knee) will both be assessed this week.

Ellard, Menzel and Thomas all played no part in the fourth quarter of Carlton’s six-point loss to the Cats.

“To hang in there long enough (when the side was down on rotations) was a fantastic effort from the boys,” Malthouse said.