Unhappy Hawks under new ownership
Unhappy Hawks under new ownership

When Chris Judd moved in on Leigh Adams and motioned like a man priming a water pump, Carlton's finals hopes potentially turned to dust.

As a result of his actions the dual Brownlow Medallist is on report for misconduct. Perhaps strange contact would be more accurate!

Regardless, there's already a substantial backlash against Judd from many who think he's become a protected species.

Not that he's done much wrong in his stellar career, it's just that he's been luckier than most. And more decorated than all but a few!

If nothing else his cases tend to be innovative. Chris Judd is like a jukebox when it comes to variety!

First there were two separate eye-gouging charges, involving Campbell Brown and Michael Rischitelli (which morphed into the famous pressure point case), followed by an errant elbow that left Matthew Pavlich bloodied and stitched.

At least this time around the Carlton captain's action won't be shrouded in mystery.

More to the point, he appears to have grounds for a plausible defence. It's a defence that might not get him off but one that is sure to put a spotlight back on the game and the way it's umpired.

In this particular case Adams and others were scrambling on the ground and the umpire was simply letting them play. It's a scenario the AFL hates, a rugby-type maul going nowhere and taking an eternity to get there. The umpire did not blow his whistle and Judd had every right to tackle Adams.

Even after the strangeness of it all, I'm not sure what rule was broken. Grabbing the free hand is often branded "the perfect tackle".

A physiotherapist with top level experience at two AFL clubs last night described the hysteria surrounding Judd's actions as "laughable".

Adams, of course, is completely blameless, he was just doing what he always does, getting a hard footy.

But a lot has been made of his injured shoulders. Frankly, they're nothing to do with Judd.

You might remember several seasons ago when Nick Riewoldt was bustled and bumped after injuring his shoulder at the Gabba, I railed against the two Brisbane players involved because the St Kilda champ was nowhere near the footy and making no attempt to get involved.

Unfortunately the same can't be said of Adams, who had the footy at the time and apparently started the game with a pair of dodgy shoulders.

The North player was obliged to either hand-pass, or make an effort to hand-pass, I am sure Carlton will argue Judd's move was designed to deny him either option.

An early whistle would have prevented the whole unsightly business.

These rolling mauls are becoming a blight on the game.

A few Sundays ago, out of the blue, umpires blew the whistle very quickly and because it was slippery threw the ball up. It worked a treat.

The question hangs in the air. Why, after one game, was a successful remedy abandoned so quickly?

PS. I think Chris Judd will run out of luck this week. Although any suspension may have more to do with his past (and particularly his perceived luck in the Pavlich case) rather than anything he's done in the last week.

But as Rumpole said, "never plead guilty".

Who knows, this week Lance Armstrong's (no pun intended) bike might confess.

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