St Kilda launched themselves into the AFL’s top four with a thumping victory over the Sydney Swans on Saturday night, but it was the actions of defender Jake Carlisle that attracted heavy scrutiny from fans and commentators.
The Saints outclassed the Swans by and large on Saturday but the same couldn’t be said of Carlisle, who appeared to target the injured right hand of Swans defender Dane Rampe after a third quarter scuffle.
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Rampe had broken his hand in the Swans’ previous match, but was deemed fit to play after having a plat a screws inserted, as well as wearing a glove.
Carlisle was caught on camera attempting to hit said hand, prompting Rampe’s teammate Tom Papley to remonstrate with the Saints defender.
Jake Carlisle was trying to hit Dane Rampe’s injured hand pic.twitter.com/dynxpGWOsJ— 7AFL (@7AFL) August 1, 2020
Former Western Bulldogs great turned Fox Footy commentator Brad Johnson was scathing in his assessment of Carlisle’s actions, which could yet see him cited by the AFL Match Review Officer.
“It’s not fair game. You just can’t be doing that,” Johnson said.
“Rampe’s teammates had to come to his defence to try and get him out the way.
“Yes he’s playing injured, they already know that, but I’m not a big fan of that.”
Jake Carlisle deliberately hitting Dane Rampe’s (broken) hand in a scuffle. Fair play because he’s crossed the white line? Poor form? Or both? #aflsaintsswans— Andrew Wu (@wutube) August 1, 2020
That's very on-brand from Jake Carlisle.— Daniel Cherny 📰 (@DanielCherny) August 1, 2020
In the space of 2 minutes Jake Carlisle has:— Geoff Koop (@GKoop93) August 1, 2020
- Deliberately made a play at Dane Rampe's broken hand outside of a footballing action
- After being correctly called as to not have marked, just dropped the ball away from the boundary ump
His attitude will cost the Saints at finals
Premiership-winning former Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis was similarly unimpressed by Carlisle’s act.
Lewis said it was a ‘shocking look’ for the game.
“There is nothing to achieve there, it’s a shocking look for the game and it just didn’t need to happen,” he said.
Plenty of fans also weighed in on the incident, with many suggesting Carlisle ought to less time niggling opponents and more time outplaying them, while former Brisbane Lions forward Alastair Lynch said ‘we’re well past that in the game these days’.
Saints cruise into top four after Sydney victory
Tough midfielder Zak Jones starred for the Saints against his old side on Saturday, with 21 disposals and six clearances in the 15.11 (101) to 6.12 (48) triumph at the Gabba.
The Swans had no answer to St Kilda's superior run and slick ball use during a six-goal final-quarter blitz as Jack Steele (24 disposals), Jade Gresham (23) and Jack Billings (19) racked up possessions through the midfield.
Emerging key forward Max King and Nick Hind both kicked three goals as Dan Butler, Josh Battle and Gresham chipped in with two each.
It was the first time the Saints had managed a triple-figure score this season and their first win over Sydney in 11 attempts since 2012.
"The way we finished the game was really pleasing," St Kilda coach Brett Ratten said.
"The third quarter was a little bit of a worry and we've had a few now, that's not the first time.
"That's one part of our game we've got to clean up, but the last quarter was brilliant."