Shai Bolton made a mistake in taunting opponent Sam Docherty before kicking an important goal in Richmond’s narrow AFL win over Carlton, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick says.
Bolton caused controversy early in the final quarter of Thursday night’s contest at the MCG when he held the ball aloft in front of the chasing Blues defender while running into an open goal.
It was the first major of the final term in a fiery contest but Bolton’s premature celebration almost came back to bite him on the backside as the Tigers rode a late challenge and hung on to win by 15 points.
“It’s not us, it’s not what we’re about and he’ll be regretful, no question,” Hardwick said.
“He’ll be accountable and responsible for it.
“It’s certainly not part of who he is and part of what we are.
“We’re disappointed but we’ll work our way through it and support him and he’ll learn some great lessons from it.
“It’s not a great look.”
The incident seemingly stemmed from an exchange between Bolton and Docherty during a three-quarter time melee, which flared up when Patrick Cripps took exception to a push from Dion Prestia that caused the Blues’ skipper to hit his head on teammate Sam Walsh’s leg.
The majority of players from both sides rushed to remonstrate with each other as tension boiled over between the traditional rivals.
Hardwick said Bolton’s action was likely borne out of frustration after his previous confrontation with Docherty.
“Yeah, probably, but the reality is that’s what footy is all about,” Hardwick said.
“One of the things we always want to do is honour our competition and that (action) does go against that.”
Carlton coach Michael Voss tried to play a straight bat when quizzed on Bolton’s decision to taunt Docherty.
“I wouldn’t even dare dream to coach a player from another team,” Voss said.
“That’s for Dimma (Hardwick) to deal with and I’ll deal with my own players.
“I’m pretty firm on that.
“If he feels that (action is) adequate, well, that’s fine, but I won’t be losing any sleep over it.”
Source: AFL NEWS ABC