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Controversy erupts after questionable 50m late penalty, Sydney Swans hold on, Western Bulldogs lose, Laitham Vandermeer, Hayden McLean

AFL fans were left seeing red after a controversial late 50-metre penalty effectively closed the door on the Western Bulldogs’ comeback against the Sydney Swans.

The Dogs took the momentum of the contest in the fourth quarter at Marvel Stadium when they closed the margin to eight points.

With just over two minutes remaining in the contest, the Swans put that game out of reach after Hayden McLean was awarded a determined goal following a controversial referee decision.

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A forward kick from Justin McInerney found McLean open on the 50-metre goal where he made the undisputed mark.

But a split second after securing the ball, Bulldogs defender Laitham Vandermeer attempted to challenge the mark and knocked the ball out of McLean’s hand, causing the referee to blow his whistle and award a penalty. of 50 meters.

McLean walked to the goal and kicked the final goal of the contest to secure the 16.6 (102) to 12.16 (88) victory.

The questionable decision left spectators furious, as many believed the referee had made the wrong decision.

Former AFL player Campbell Brown wrote: “Worst refereeing decision of the year was that 50 meter penalty. Shocking with the game on the line.”

Tim Michell wrote: “That’s a brutal decision against Vandermeer.”

Andrew Wu wrote: “That’s not 50.”

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was visibly angry at the decision to award a 50-metre penalty and a certain goal to McLean, but had no opinion on its importance to the result.

“What can you say? I will always make sure not to comment on the refereeing,” he said.

“I guess whether it’s there or not, I don’t really know, I haven’t looked at it, but in the end the decision was made and we have to live with it.”

The 50-meter penalty at the end of the match became the sixth awarded that night and was the second questionable penalty. He left Richmond great Matthew Richardson seeing red.

“Smooth as these 50s. Is this what you really want the game to look like?” he wrote.

The first controversial penalty of the night came moments before half-time, when Sydney’s Chad Warner awarded a 50-metre penalty for disagreeing with the referee.

Warner was unhappy after the referee called his tackle on Vandermeer high. Replays showed the tackle was clean and Warner pointed to the big screen as the moment played.

The Dogs’ defeat went from bad to worse after star forward Aaron Naughton suffered a potentially serious injury following a horror tackle.

Early in the second quarter, Swan Lewis Melican wrapped his legs around Naughton and grabbed his right arm as he pulled him to the turf.

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Naughton, who had possession of the ball at the time, immediately screamed in pain and was eventually helped off the ground, unable to put any weight on his right leg.

Melican’s entry left two-time premiership winner David King saying it was not a good look for the AFL.

“He’s been banned from the NRL,” he began. “The hip drop tackle, where you put all your weight on your back legs to take down a player.

“It causes severe trauma and massive injuries.

“These are the unintended consequences of not being able to shoot or the referee not blowing the whistle quickly enough, but look at all the weight going through the lower leg.

“He breaks his legs, he has syndesmosis written all over him, he breaks his ankle, he has trauma to his knee, he is the one they hate in the NRL.

“And I think we need to think about this. “I don’t have the answer, but we have to recognize that this is not good for our game.”

The win takes the Swans to 10-1 on the season and has them as a clear favorite for first place.

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