Tom lynch won everything that crossed his path this week — but he couldn’t win over the Gold Coast crowd in Richmond’s win over West Coast on Thursday night.
After a controversial fortnight that has seen the star forward come under fire for cheap shots on Suns players and for a striking charge against Essendon defender Michael Hurly, Lynch would have enjoyed a controversy-free night at the office — if not for the local crowd heckling him every opportunity they got.
While Lynch beat AFL match review officer Michael Christian at every turn this month and had his striking charge thrown out by an AFL judiciary hearing this week — his sudden reputation as a “d****bag” has stuck, fairly or unfairly.
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The chorus of booing began with Lynch’s first set shot on goal in the first quarter and it was still there in the fourth quarter when he kicked the important first goal of the quarter to kill-off the Eagles.
The Tigers went on to cruise to a 14.4 (88) to 9.7 (61) victory.
Booing has become a contentious issue in footy in recent years — and the ugly crowd treatment of Lynch appears set to play out for the remainder of the year.
“The fans are on him at the moment, but he’s done nothing,” Channel 7 commentator Brian Taylor said.
“He’s done what every good footballer should do and play aggressively to clear space.
Former Western Bulldogs star Luke Darcy said: “I’m not sure why Tom Lynch is being booed. He’s suddenly become a pariah. A couple of very, very minor incidents, you would have to say. You would love to play footy with this man. He’s a ripper.”
Lynch was on Sunday sent straight to the AFL tribunal after he was caught in an ugly incident with Essendon’s Michael Hurley where he appeared to lash out in a punching motion.
Many AFL commentators, however, argued Lynch’s strike was nothing more than a push that barely made contact with Hurley.
It comes after a firestorm of criticism for Lynch following another incident with the Gold Coast’s Sam Collins the week before.
He also copped a second $1000 fine for a jumper punches to Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts in the second quarter.
Some Suns fans at least haven’t forgotten Lynch’s aggressive actions — or his famous decision to walk out on the club to join Richmond.