Another day, another Nick Vlastuin controversy.
In 2020 the Richmond defender has been embroiled in the club’s ‘bum touching’ saga, as well as multiple staging fines – and now he’s been accused of ‘cheating’ which robbed St Kilda of a certain goal.
Jack Sinclair appeared to have reduced the margin to 26-points on the stroke of half-time, before a bit of confusion over whether it was touched in the goal square.
WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
Channel 7’s commentators were convinced it was an easy decision for the score review to make.
“I’m not sure Nick Vlastuin has touched that ball and the ball is over the line!” former WA first-class cricketer James Brayshaw said.
“Just the reaction of Vlastuin to me, he looked very guiltily around.”
Melbourne AFLW captain Daisy Pearce added: “Daylight between fist and ball there,” upon another camera angle being shown.
“I think you’re right Daisy, I think it’s six points,” Brayshaw said.
“I don’t know if this is even possible but roll the tape forward and look at his face, gives it away for me! He knew he didn’t touch it.”
Following the incident, Herald Sun journalist Mark Robinson tweeted a controversial poll, which has since been deleted after Vlastuin responded to it.
“When you claim to he (sic) touched the ball when it’s gone through for a goal – and you didn’t – is that: A white lie, gamesmanship, cheating.”
The poll had more than 3,000 responses within an hour, prompting the 26-year-old to fire back at the veteran scribe.
“When you know you touched the ball, the goal umpire thinks so too, but someone watching from the stands calls you a cheat, what is that?” Vlastuin asked.
Robinson swiftly responded: “Apologies Nick. Poll deleted.”
With the on-field decision standing as a goal, the AFL Review Centre deemed inconclusive evidence to overturn the initial call.
“It’s going to be a behind, I reckon they’re really stiff the Saints,” Brayshaw said on commentary.
“Look at Nick Vlastuin, he knows they’ve dodged a bullet.”
Pearce added: “His appeal that it was touched almost seemed like an afterthought, didn’t it?”
Many social media users described the decision as ‘embarrassing’, agreeing Robbo’s poll was perhaps uncalled for, but remained unanimous on the ‘touched’ decision.
“Probably not a great poll, but seriously, you aren’t trying to convince us you touched that are you?” one wrote.
Alas, Richmond ran out 31-point winners and ended St Kilda’s 2020 season.
Tonight’s second semi-final between Geelong and Collingwood gets underway from 4:40pm WST at the Gabba.