'Copping it here': Tom Lynch caught in fan's disgusting act

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
A 50-50 split image shows a drink being thrown at Tom Lynch on the left, and the Richmond player reacting on the right.
Richmond's Tom Lynch reacts after a rival fan threw a drink on him as he prepared to do a post-game interview on Friday night, following Richmond's win over Port Adelaide. Picture: Channel 7/Twitter

Tom Lynch's status as public enemy No.1 at Adelaide Oval was laid bare as Richmond stormed into yet another grand final, but the key forward appeared to win over one local after the win.

Lynch was met with a chorus of boos whenever he went near the ball - or even appeared on the ground's big screen - as the Tigers secured a six-point victory over Port Adelaide on Friday night.

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On-field barbs and physical scrimmages in the preliminary final also hinted at a sub-plot that bubbled to the surface on match eve, when Port star Hamish Hartlett claimed "plenty of people out there ... would like to see" Lynch's season end.

Hartlett and Power fans went home disappointed, especially when the ball landed in Lynch's lap as the final siren sounded.

The boos continued.

Even while conducting a post-match interview with Channel Seven, Lynch was left in no doubt where he stood with the locals.

"I'm copping it here a little bit. You can please repeat that? I just had a Bundy and Coke on me," the 27-year-old said.

Lynch scuttled into the rooms after the interview, but not before stopping to try to console one heartbroken young Port supporter in tears.

Fans on social media found the Port Adelaide supporter’s act distasteful, with many throwing their support behind Lynch despite admitting to criticising the Tiger’s on-field behaviour in the past.

Lynch controversially escaped suspensions over a number of striking incidents earlier in the season, leading to some accusations of him taking his tactics to throw off the opposition too far.

Nonetheless, many said it was a crass overreaction to throw a drink on him.

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The key forward booted one goal in slippery conditions, giving away four free kicks and missing a golden chance to nail a set shot early in the fourth quarter.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick, whose decision to shift Lynch behind the ball in the final 90 seconds proved pivotal, described Hartlett's pre-match sledge as "good fun, good theatre".

"Tom feeds off that stuff," Hardwick said.

"It was no worry to us, Tom or anything like that. It just creates a more volatile environment.

"It (the booing) is all part of the theatre.

Tom Lynch was the antagonist against Port Adelaide, but he got the last laugh as Richmond won another AFL preliminary final on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Tom Lynch was the antagonist against Port Adelaide, but he got the last laugh as Richmond won another AFL preliminary final on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Tom's a big boy. He can handle it. He's a wonderful player, one of the better players in the competition.

"It's water off a duck's back."

Lynch has been a talking point for much of 2020, most notably when labelled a "wanker" by Mitch Robinson during one of the Brisbane veteran's live gaming sessions on Twitch, while a series of off-the-ball incidents have attracted criticism.

"Some of those incidents have been harshly judged. He's been probably maligned a little bit for that," Hardwick said.

"But he understands it. He accepts it. He gets on with it. That's what we love about him."

Hardwick last week described Lynch's kneeing incident in the Tigers' semi-final win as "minuscule" and the match review panel agreed, issuing a fine of $A750.

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