Port Adelaide’s Peter Ladhams was reported for a low blow strike on Richmond’s Noah Balta in the first quarter of a spiteful preliminary final in Adelaide.
Ladhams appeared to punch Balta with a swinging arm as he chased the ball behind play early in Port’s six-point defeat.
The close-fist strike appeared to catch Balta low down in the bread basket and left him bent over, sucking in deep breaths for a few seconds.
At half time Fox Footy commentator Nick Riewoldt said it was “very, very stupid” — but also suggested it would be shocking if AFL match review officer Michael Christian decided to pursue a suspension.
He said it was likely Ladhams will be fined.
“It’s very, very stupid,” Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy.
“But based on what we’ve seen this year, I can’t see how you can rub a player out for a week with all the strikes that have gone unpunished.”
Hawks champion Luke Hodge said on Channel 7: “Was that the groin? A little bit lower than the midriff? On the verge maybe”.
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Tempers threatened to boil over in a heated first half, with Tigers star Tom Lynch often in the middle of it.
Power young gun Xavier Duursma gave Lynch an extended spray in the second term when he slotted a set-shot and then turned to Lynch to let him know about it.
When Lynch responded Port Adelaide players came from everywhere to bump the star forward.
It came after Port defender Hamish Hartlett took a stinging shot at Lynch mid-week over his now-infamous hot-head reputation.
“He obviously gets caught up in the emotions of the game probably a bit more frequently than others do,” Hartlett said told FIVEaa radio.
“I guess others are able to control their instinct and reactions perhaps on their emotions a little bit better than what Tom does.
“I think there’d be plenty of people out there that would like to see his season come to an end on Friday night. I’ll leave it at that.”