Richmond star Tom Lynch has strongly denied his punch on Gold Coast defender Sam Collins, declaring it was an “open hand” to the stomach.
Lynch is likely to come under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after his off-ball strike sending Collins to the ground and fuming after the game.
Speaking on Fox Footy’s On The Couch post-game, St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt dubbed Lynch’s strike as a “cheap shot”, while Melbourne great Garry Lyon said it was “not brave”.
However, Lynch suggested it was a push to the stomach which many key forwards look to use.
“I wouldn’t say that (right arm to the stomach). It was just an open hand and pushed off. That was it,” Lynch told ABC Grandstand post-game.
“I’m not too sure, he (Collins) was a bit angry about that, but yeah, it was just an open hand to the chest, which as key forwards, is what you want to do.”
Although Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said he didn’t see the incident, he was happy with the aggressive approach from his side.
“You give some, you take some,” Hardwick said.
“That‘s the reality of the game, it’s a combative sport. We want our guys to play aggressive, assertive footy, that’s how they play.
“We don‘t want them to go over the line, but sometimes they will, which is unfortunate. If their (opposition) backs are there around it, they’ll go through them.”
Essendon legend Tim Watson believed Lynch deserved a one-week ban, but Lyon was firm that it was likely the AFL would slap the Tiger with a fine.
“The AFL can justify whatever the hell they want but their stance on punching is a joke and that’s being played out over and over and over,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
“What they are basically saying is you’re allowed to punch in the competition. You’ll get a fine but you’re allowed to punch and then we’ll determine on whether it’s a hard punch or a soft punch.
“That’s basically where they are at.”
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