Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

Whateley goes through the 13 crucial free kick calls from Eagles v Blues


The umpiring in the West Coast versus Carlton game has been widely criticised, with the holding the ball interpretation under the spotlight once again.

After receiving an email with time codes of 13 different incidents from a listener, Gerard Whateley decided to go through all 13 and determine whether the right call was made.

In the end, Whateley concluded that five of the 13 were incorrect, with the Blues on the rougher end of the spectrum based on the non-decisions.

Here’s what he broke down.

Shannon Hurn tackled in Carlton’s goal square – decision a ball-up.

Gerard: “The umpire calls ‘tackled immediately’. The question is, did he try to evade and he certainly rose and the tackles came to him at that moment. I’ll put the provisional on this, this is a correct ball-up, but I’ll come back to that because there’s one that is a direct comparison.”

Call: Correct

Sam Petrevski-Seton tackled by Jack Darling inside 50 – holding the ball.

Gerard: “This is the poster boy for the day. The only attempt he could have been made was to raise his eyebrows. Umpire calls no genuine attempt. There was simply no possibility for Petrevski-Seton (to release the ball), that’s an error. If that’s the standard, that would lead us down a diabolical path, but that’s an error.”

Call: Incorrect

Jack Darling tackled in the goal square – ball up.

Call: Correct

Luke Shuey, Matthew Kennedy, Liam Ryan tackled – all called ball up or play on

Call: All correct

Deliberate out of bounds against Ed Curnow

Gerard: “He doesn’t ensure the ball stays in the field of play, but by the measure of insufficient intent to keep the ball in, he simply kicked the ball away from a scrimmage with no idea what would happen.”

Call: Incorrect

Deliberate out of bounds not paid against Dom Sheed

Gerard: “He squirts the ball out of similar congestion towards the boundary. There are three players in the vicinity, but they have no play at the ball. By the measure of insufficient intent, clearly Sheed breaches that. Those free kicks are the wrong way around.”

Call: Incorrect

Sam Docherty tackles Jarrod Cameron – call holding the ball

Gerard: “Cameron takes a step or two, he intends to open the game up, arcs to run away and gets caught by Docherty, holding the ball is called and holding the ball is correct.”

Call: Correct

Tom Cole tackled by Levi Casboult – ball up.

Gerard: “Arms pinned just like Petrevski-Seton earlier on, ball up – ball up is correct. It doesn’t match the earlier decision, but the ball-up is correct.”

Call: Correct

Sam Petrevski-Seton tackled in defensive goal square – holding the ball

Gerard: “Petrevski-Seton picks up the ball, lifts his body and doesn’t quite get to the vertical and he gets run down from behind by Jamie Cripps. He swings his arm at the ball to make a genuine attempt. If you marry it up with the first one, Shannon Hurn tackled in the goal square, he did get to the vertical and was able to have a look and was set upon. Petrevski-Seton doesn’t get to the vertical, his only prior opportunity was that his eyes were moving to see what was happening and he’s nailed holding the ball. You can’t have one as holding the ball and one as a ball-up. He had less of a chance than Hurn.”

Call: Incorrect

Elliot Yeo tackled in the third quarter – ball-up

Gerard: “Ball-up is correct, but again if you want to marry that up with Petrevski-Seton.”

Call: Correct

Sam Walsh pinged for a throw

Call: Correct

Elliot Yeo tackled – holding the ball

Gerard: “The ball was knocked out of his grasp as soon as Walsh and Lachie Plowman laid any contact on him never mind a tackle and paid holding the ball. Straight wrong, the ball was simply jarred out of his hands.”

Call: Incorrect

Gerard’s conclusion

“So there are mistakes both ways, but if you want to tally them up the Blues were on the wrong side of it. The inconsistency in that list will drive people mad.”

More in AFL