Richmond champion Jack Riewoldt’s damning assessment of the dissent rule

Champion Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt has delivered a damning assessment of the AFL’s dissent rule, declaring “nobody has a clue” and admitting “I’m scratching my head”.

Referee Craig Fleur sparked explosive controversy when he called a free kick on Giants halfback Stephen Coniglio in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s GWS v Carlton game, which the Blues won by 10 points.

The referee explained on the pitch that the former GWS captain threw his arms out and shouted: “How is that not a free kick?”

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The whistleblower’s decision and explanation surprised many, as did parts of the AFL’s statement attributed to umpiring boss Dan Richardson.

“Just as we have some players or coaches who sometimes get emotional or become overly expressive under pressure, we also have referees with varying degrees of temperament,” the statement said.

“We have a set of guidelines that referees have to work by and we train them, but we also can’t manage the human reaction.”

Riewoldt was highly critical of Fox Sports’ dissent rule AFL 360Tuesday night.

“No one has an idea because the referees. they acknowledged that each referee had a different emotional response to the players. So how do we know if we’re catching someone on a bad day or a good day?” Riewoldt said:

“After that controversial free-kick, there are moments when players do the same thing and we don’t get the same result, so I scratch my head.”

Riewoldt admitted that he said “much worse things” and “did more demonstrative things to the referees.”

“There are four referees. One is mostly in the center of the ground or with key forwards. (You ask). as dissent, which is Coniglio’s example there,” Riewoldt said.

“I’m still scratching my head about it, and I think most of the trampled public is, too.”

Carlton defender Sam Docherty featured in the match against GWS at Sydney Olympic Park.

He admitted he was confused when the referee made his controversial dissenting decision.

“I had no idea. I had to ask the referee what it was and he said ‘dissension’,” Docherty said.

“I assumed it was him swearing at himself or something, that was my initial reaction.

“After seeing it, it happens a lot in games.”

But Docherty also drew attention to the hard work of referees.

“I had a presser (on Monday) and my answer is that it’s going to be difficult because of human error in our game,” Docherty said.

“I think there’s always going to be a sense of gray in our game and we have to accept that that’s part of it and referees are human. They will make mistakes just like us players do.

“It’ll be nice to know if that’s going to be consistent moving forward, if it’s kind of back to where it was at the start of last year when it was 100 percent free kicks.

“It was a really precious moment on the leg. If I was on the other side, I would have been a bit braver, but we got the win from the back of it.”

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