Another Chardonnay For The Umps

It’s official, umpires favour West Coast.

The Eagles are +51 for frees in 11 home games against interstate opponents. They have won the free-kick count eight times, drawn level once and lost it twice.

In two matches against Sydney at home this year, the Eagles are +24 for frees.

“Oh!” They cry, “That’s simply because we are always winning, and the winning team receives more free kicks!”


Away from Subiaco, the Eagles are also in the positive — but only +6.

WA’s blue and golden-haired children get looked after at Subi. Everyone knows it. It was plainly obvious in the final against Sydney last week, where West Coast had about 11 more frees than sydney, at least 4 of them inside the 50m arc.

A fair call would have seen Sydney win by 30 points or more. History will recall that match as a match “between two even sides”. Rubbish. It was a match between 1 very good side, and 1 overrated side with significant assistance from the umpires.

At least in the end the good guys won.

And then there’s the red-headed stepchild of the AFL:

Fremantle hasn’t fared as well in its 10 home games against travelling sides, with a -11 record. Away from Subiaco, the Dockers are -40.


This post lovingly dedicated to Roger and Choco. Open your eyes.

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29 Comments on “Another Chardonnay For The Umps”

  1. Hammy Says:

    Ah, you have quantified the blindingly obvious. Watching five minutes of the WCE v Syd match you realised that many of the frees paid to the Eagles wouldn’t be a free on any other ground. Their one-eyed supporters must place a lot of pressure on the umpires.

  2. carneagles Says:

    Don’t worry, the umps more than adequately made it up to Sydney in the GF, and no doubt will do so again this year. Their utter refusal to police the holding-the-ball rule slots in quite nicely with Sydney’s tactics, as a rule.

    And the Tribunal is kind of like an umpiring Star Chamber, when you think about it. They’re always happy to help.

  3. Liam Says:

    Rubbish, carneagles. That your side has no forwards worthy of the title, and therefore depends on overheated and overhyped midfielders, is their problem, not Sydney’s, and certainly not the umpires’.

  4. yobbo Says:

    How can you bitch about the tribunal? Kerr should have gotten at least 4 weeks for what is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen on an AFL field. Chick was extremely lucky to be let off this week.

  5. carneagles Says:

    C’mon, criticising our forward line is passé. All the cool kids are bagging our gameplan now.

  6. carneagles Says:

    Surely you’ve seen more disgusting things. What about Voss’s broken leg? Hentschel’s knee a couple of weeks ago? Damian Monkhorst? Any given Daniher?

    Kerr should have gotten more than a week. Just as Hall should have gotten more than not a damned thing.

  7. yobbo Says:

    Voss’ broken leg was not a deliberate hit below the belt like Kerr’s effort.

    West Coast should have applied their own suspension to Kerr. Deliberately punching a bloke in the nuts is a lot worse of an example to set for kids than snorting cocaine or running away from a booze bus.

    Instead, they challenged the ruling. Wouldn’t expect anything less from West Coast, but it shows what sort of culture is present down there.

  8. Liam Says:

    We’re not arguing about the tribunals, though, are we carneagles? That’s not where West Coast get their structural advantage. Even in rugby league, Chick would have been given an early shower for the late hit on Malceski.
    Go you doggies, I say.

  9. os Says:

    If you’re first to the ball and get pushed in the back, it’s a free kick. If you nail the other bloke with a great tacke, it’s a free kick. If some noggin punches you in the head from behind pretending to spoil, it’s a free kick. If you lie on the ball and hold it in, it’s a free kick. If you hold your position and some dumbarse runs into you, it’s not a late hit and it’s not a reportable offence. If you try to punch a bloke in the leg and he presents his nuts, it’s not a deliberate punch in the nuts. It’s a punch in the nuts, sure … but it’s not deliberate. If some dingbat runs around all day hanging off Judd, Cousins or Kerr because all he’s good for is to be a blight on the game, that’s a free kick.

    On the other hand, if you play for the Dockers and run around with your hands in the air squealing for a free kicks, it’s not a free kick.

    Carneagles is right about last year’s GF. Take another look at that famous last mark that saved the game for the Swannies and see what happened to Sampi. That only went on all day.

  10. yobbo Says:

    Should we even talk about the Stenglein free kick that got you into that final? Probably the worst decision ever made on an AFL field, and won you a game you should have lost?

    I guess the Eagles must just be special, because they don’t do any of the stuff you dribbled on about, it’s only every other team in the AFL that does it – hence every free kick the Eagles get they truly deserved!

    Non-Western Australians, this is the kind of drivel we have to put up with here in the west.

  11. Liam Says:

    Yep, that’s the West Coast attitude alright.

    We couldn’t kick goals or defend properly, but if we’d had a free kick, we might have won!


  12. os Says:

    Nah, you don’t have to put up with it at all … just boo so loudly that the BOG can’t be heard (hmmm, dumb move os, we lost that game).

  13. carneagles Says:

    I’m enjoying your subtle use of hyperbole, Yobbo. Kerr’s action might have been the ugliest thing you’ve personally seen on a footy field, to give the benefit of the doubt, but the Stenglein/Barry decision was “probably the worst decision ever made on an AFL field”?

    What about the Wayne Harmes incident that gets Pies supporters lathered up? That one in that Freo-Essendon game where the ump allowed the Bombers player to accept a point instead of awarding your bloke a free kick? Shit, there’s two worse, without even trying. And the first one was for much higher stakes as well. And as I said at the time, Barry wouldn’t have been in a position to give away a free if he hadn’t run directly at Stenglein (the man on the mark) instead of the acre of space behind him. In other words, Barry was a smartarse and it blew up on him bigtime.

    My point about Sydney was the complete lack of a holding-the-ball decision against Sydney during the GF, and the lack of one again on Friday night. Doesn’t matter too much unless your team’s gameplan revolves around either winning stoppages or holding the ball up while your team floods back. It takes on a whole new importance, which doesn’t get reflected in the stats which were the point of this whole post in the first place.

    I apologise if that’s “pathetic” to you Liam, but life goes on I suppose.

  14. yobbo Says:

    “What about the Wayne Harmes incident that gets Pies supporters lathered up?”

    I wasn’t born then.

    “That one in that Freo-Essendon game where the ump allowed the Bombers player to accept a point instead of awarding your bloke a free kick?”

    Don’t remember that particular one. As a Freo supporter all the ridiculously bad decisions against us tend to blur together after a while.

    The fact is that Stenglein backed into the guy running past behind the mark. In 20 years of watching AFL, that is the only time I can remember a kick getting reversed in favour of the man standing the mark. The fact that the kick was awarded to the Eagles though, in a final, when they were behind by less than a kick, is par for the course at Subiaco.

  15. yobbo Says:

    P.S. Fucking Heave Ho.

    Hope the Eagles lose by 12 goals tomorrow.

  16. carneagles Says:

    “The fact that the kick was awarded to the Eagles though, in a final, when they were behind by less than a kick, is par for the course at Subiaco.”

    It almost reads as if this is a regular occurrence.

    We’ll see about tonight. Enjoy Sydney.

  17. Hammy Says:

    The Eagles are close to matching Collingwood these days with their contempt for playing the game in the right spirit and spoiling the brats that play for them.

  18. Hammy Says:

    Carneagles – Referring to the aforementioned incident where the Bombers were awarded a point instead of the Dockers being given a free – Ineptitude shouldn’t be confused with favouritism. This was obviously an inept umpiring decision whereas the Eagles are definitely favoured by the umps.

  19. ozrisk Says:

    Bad luck, Yobbo – Eagles by just over 12 goals. See you in the final – Eagles will win, of course. Even with your whining.

  20. the reverse Says:



    Why do you not play the real indigenous Australian football instead of a bunch of bucolic Victorian’s interpretation of Private school soccer?

    You will play and give time to anything, even soccer now, rather than give time to the Australian game.

  21. No football is indigenous. Australian Rules came from Gaelic Football. Soccer and Rugby Union came from traditional English and Scottish football. League came from Union. American and Canadian Football, and that crazy Italian bloodsport played on sand are obviously foreign and have similar roots to Rugby Union.

    Unless he is referring to a favourite childhood game, “kill the dill with the pill”, which is just Union for kids because there is too many bloody rules for kids to remember in Union.

  22. yobbo Says:

    Marn Grook is indigenous.

  23. You’ve shown me the way again yobbo.

  24. the reverse Says:

    Australian Rules did not come from Gaelic football. It came from cambridge Rules and Sheffield Rules in English private schools.
    The creater, Tom Wills, went to Rugby school

    As for Rugby coming off soccer,

    Read this
    or this

    And “league” as you erroneously call it, did not come from Union, it was just professional Rugby. Union has deviated more from the original form than RL.

    Notice this:
    “Accepted lore has told us that rugby league (“play-the-ball”) and American football (“down” / line of scrimmage) introduced these methods as a means to re-start play in an effort to avoid the so-called scrappy and unappealing rucks and mauls in rugby union.

    Yet these methods of re-starting play pre-date the prevalence of rucks and mauls in rugby union.”

    or this:
    “By the 1890s the laws had been amended such that once the tackled/held player had regained his feet, and put the ball down, he could “play the ball” in any direction with his foot to re-commence play.”

    Or most notably this:
    “n the early 1900s the RFU encouraged tackled players to simply leave the ball on the ground and roll away, though the laws were not changed to make this clear.”

    from this page

    ““kill the dill with the pill”, which is just Union for kids”
    Is actually originally an Irish game, notice the word “pill” which is Gaelic in origin.

  25. the reverse Says:

    As for the Australian game:


  26. Well researched – a bit biased though. Union and Association Football have the same roots – and as I understood, League split from Union over a pay dispute.

    When was the first game of American Football played – descriptions I’ve heard of say it was very similar to soccer. 1869 between Princetown and Rutgers University.

  27. the reverse Says:

    They played soccer rules and than they played by Rugby rules when they were transported to the new world in 1871, or something like that.

    Than a man named Walter Camp wanted to create an “American” game. Camp was a coach of one of those famous American colleges and was accepted as an expert on football. He created the scrimmage, as opposed to the scrummage, which gave uncontested ball.

    Teddy Roosevelt got behind the concept. But too many people were dying(as they also were in Rugby at the time) and so there was a big congress on the rules. The rules were changed for smaller grounds because Princeton had just built a smaller ground. Otherwise there might be a commen game between RL and AF.

    RU in California was still popular and as an interesting side note, the CRU were considering joining the RL in 1939 but the war cut that idea short.

    In Canada, Canadien football was still called “Rugby” until 1965.

    As for league being descended from union, most of the old RL clubs like Hull F.C. are older than the union, and most of the changes in Rugby laws were masterminded from the north by clubs that would join the league, so it hardly came from union. It came from Rugby.

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