The AFL has been urged to hit Tom Lynch with a suspension after the Richmond star was guilty of an ugly shot on Brisbane Lions defender Alex Witherden.
Lynch was taking on all comers in the Lions' defence at Metricon Stadium as the defending premiers claimed a 41-point win on Tuesday night.
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However, the Tigers spearhead could find himself in trouble with the AFL's match review officer after the first half incident on Witherden.
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) August 4, 2020
Lynch got a tackle on the Lions defender just after he got his kick away, then proceeded to shove his head towards the turf in an unnecessary show of force.
Fortunately for Witherden, his head didn't come into contact with the turf but it is the type of incident that could have had a more serious outcome.
St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt was outraged on Fox Sports' coverage, insisting it is the type of cheap shot that the AFL need to try and stamp out of the game.
“I think it’s got to be down to the players as a fraternity to come together and get rid of that stuff that’s crept in,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.
“I don’t think it does anyone any favours. It doesn’t look good for Tom Lynch, it doesn’t look good for the game.”
Riewoldt's views were shared by plenty of viewers on social media, with many calling for Lynch to cop at the very least a one-week suspension.
— Roaming Don (@RoamingDons) August 4, 2020
Why does that crap go unchecked?
— Andrew Lofthouse (@Loftea) August 4, 2020
Idiot!! Hopefully gets a week
— Brady Watt (@BradyWatt) August 4, 2020
Why do that, so uncalled for and vicious. Hope he gets suspended for it.
— Liz B. (@elizabeth_norm) August 4, 2020
Got to be a week. Dirty as
— Max Hatzoglou (@MHatzoglou) August 4, 2020
— Sir_Skid (@Sir_Skid) August 4, 2020
Yeah that's pissweak
— JS (@everyday_vet) August 4, 2020
Correct. Bit of a grub act...
— Scott Bailey (@scottbailey23) August 4, 2020
Tigers coach praises Lynch aggression
Fox Sports commentator Garry Lyon said there wasn't much in it and thought "it was a little rabbity but there’s nothing in that, that’s just a reminder you’ve got to get rid of the ball quicker than that, son”.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick also saw no issues with Lynch throughout the game, admitting that the aggression is part of what makes him a great player.
"It's when he plays his best footy, he's physical," Hardwick said.
"It's funny, for a guy that is such a nice person off the field, you look at it he's quite aggressive.
"The way he hits the ball, he jumps in the contest. He's got his mojo back which is great. He's aggressive. That's the way we like him."
There was also plenty of push and shove with Lynch and multiple Lions defenders before the start of the third quarter.
In between that, Lynch kicked three goals to add impact on the scoreboard.
With fellow tall forward Jack Riewoldt booting four majors, it was a display that impressed Hardwick.
Lynch's return to form couldn't have come at a better time for the third-placed Tigers, who will next travel to South Australia to face competition leaders Port Adelaide on Saturday.
Hardwick was relishing the prospect of pitting his team against the Power.
"We've got a formidable challenge over in Adelaide this week," he said.
"They're sitting on top of the ladder, play a dynamic brand of footy so it's a challenge we're looking forward to, and we can't wait to get on the plane."