Sports

Sydney Swans v Collingwood preliminary final, Tom Papley goal, free kick, video, reaction


Amid the euphoria after watching their team clinch a grand final berth in heart-stopping scenes, Swans fans have probably already forgotten the controversy.

But an umpire’s call in the dying minutes of Sydney’s one-point preliminary final triumph over Collingwood has Magpies supporters asking questions.

With nine minutes remaining in the Swans’ 14.11 (95) to 14.10 (94) win at the SCG on Saturday, Tom Papley received a free kick deep in Sydney’s forward 50 and slotted a goal to extend the hosts’ lead to 20 points.

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The umpire penalised Isaac Quaynor for high contact on Papley, but he overlooked the fact the Sydney pocket rocket had pushed Darcy Moore in the back.

The Papley major gave the Swans crucial breathing space in a four-goal-to-one final quarter in the Magpies’ favour.

“I reckon they won’t get out of the carpark before they start talking about was Papley a push in the back on Darcy Moore, or was it a mark or a free kick?” David King said on Fox Footy’s post-game coverage.

“It cost a goal at a critical time.”

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Jason Dunstall challenged King.

“You get the rub,” Dunstall said.

“There are decisions all through the game.”

Luke Hodge took exception to the umpire’s call at the time of the decision.

“The umpire had a perfect view of it,” Hodge said on the Seven broadcast.

“Looked like two hands in the back for sure.”

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“He knows how big that was, Tom Papley,” Luke Darcy added on the Seven coverage.

“Maybe a little fortuitous.”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae played down the significance of the free kick in his press conference.

“I know at half-time, I think we had given away three 50-metre penalties, and it wasn’t the fact that we’d given them away; it was what we were doing next,” McRae said.

“Like, rightly or wrongly, it’s done. Get back and man the mark. Get on with it.

“You can’t just sit there and wallow in your self-pity and say, ‘But I was hard done by’. No. Get on with it, man the mark. 

“Get up and go again.

“I was disappointed with that part of our game.

“I’ll probably watch the replay at some stage.

“You look at all the little moments and think, ‘What about that?’. But I’m not going to live in that space. We’ll use it for fuel.”

Sydney will meet Geelong in the grand final at the MCG next Saturday as it hunts its first premiership since 2012, when John Longmire led the Swans to glory in his second season as coach.

The Cats are eyeing their first title since 2011, when Chris Scott lifted Geelong to the pinnacle in his first season in the job.

Geelong reached this year’s grand final in a 71-point hammering of Brisbane at the MCG on Friday.

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