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Hardwick accused of ‘weak f—ing p—ks’ VFL sledge, Bombers baked for losing the unlosable

VFL club Williamstown are reportedly seeking an explanation from Richmond, after their players allegedly copped an extraordinary spray from Damien Hardwick.

According to a report by the Herald Sun, the Tigers coach blew up spectacularly during their clash with the Tigers’ reserves team, after Seagulls player Darby Henderson was reported for striking Rhyan Mansell.

Henderson appeared to hit the Tiger from behind after being pushed into the fence, sparking a fracas, with Williamstown alleging Hardwick called two players ‘weak f—ing pricks’.

“He verbally abused one of the Williamstown players ­because of a hit early in the first quarter… there was some sort of verbal altercation with Dimma [Hardwick] verbally abusing the player,” a Seagulls official told the Herald Sun.

“He branded two players ‘weak f—ing pricks’ and said to them ‘come over here and I’ll show you how tough you are.”

Richmond have denied Hardwick made the second remark, and released a statement to the Herald Sun.

“The club acknowledges there was an exchange of words following an incident in the first quarter which led to a Williamstown player being reported for rough conduct,” the statement reads.

“As far as the club is concerned, that is the end of the matter.”

The Tigers defeated the Seagulls by 55 points.

Damien Hardwick

Damien Hardwick (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

‘Couldn’t run a bath’: Bombers slammed for final minute from hell in loss to Pies

Essendon have been quickly slammed following their loss after the siren to Collingwood on Sunday, with the club’s leaders and coaches coming under fire for their handling of the final minutes.

The Magpies took the ball end to end deep into the final quarter following a Bombers behind, leading to Jamie Elliott’s mark and winning goal.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s First Crack, David King was scathing of the Dons, applying particular heat to captain Dyson Heppell and senior players Zach Merrett, Andrew McGrath and Dylan Shiel, as well as coach Ben Rutten.

“You’d have to say the Essendon leaders couldn’t a run a bath,” King said.

“You’re the captain, Dyson Heppell – they’re looking for you to make the Scott Pendlebury-Darcy Moore decisions that were made late in the game.

“This is absolute coaching, this is situational training. If it’s good enough for Craig McRae to be doing it, first year with Collingwood, with no expectations on this group, then why isn’t it good enough for Ben Rutten to be doing it with Essendon?

“Heppell’s on the bench! Two minutes to go, Heppell’s on the bench. Work that out. Why would you have your captain on the bench when the game’s in the balance?”

For King, the most egregious error came immediately following Harrison Jones’ behind with 49 seconds remaining, with Shiel, McGrath and Merrett failing to set up in the event he missed.

“These players on the edges… they are coming in to celebrate. The time is not to celebrate!” King said.

“That’s the leadership group there – McGrath, Merrett, Shiel.”

Former St Kilda great Leigh Montagna agreed, saying the Bombers’ set-up for the final kick-in was an unmitigated disaster.

“Essendon just hadn’t got set up,” Montagna said.

“If you’re a strong team, strong leaders, you are saying, ‘Hey, let’s presume he’s going to miss the kick. Everybody get in your positions. How do we want to set up, what do we want it to look like? Let’s make sure that if this kick misses, they’re set up.

“They had 46 seconds on the clock – Elliott took that mark with 26 seconds. They had 20 seconds from coast to coast for him to even have that shot at goal.

“They’ll be kicking themselves, Essendon… really, they should have been able to deny Collingwood going to full length of the field inside a minute.”

The win is the Magpies’ ninth by 12 points or less this season, and leaves them fourth on the ladder.

‘Worrying concern’: Ratten blasts substandard Optus Stadium surface

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has warned Optus Stadium management the ground could face legal repercussion from players in the event of an injury, after the playing surface heavily impacted the Saints’ clash with West Coast.

Following torrential rain in Perth and a football friendly match between Manchester United and Aston Villa on Saturday night, the ‘shifting’ turf saw players repeatedly slip and slide throughout the Saints’ victory on Sunday.

Speaking after the match, Ratten said the venue may have to ready themselves to face consequences, citing former Carlton player Luke O’Sullivan taking legal action against the AFL and the Blues for a substandard Waverley Park surface that allegedly caused a serious knee injury as precedent.

“I wouldn’t like a player to get a long-term injury that never play the game again, or something like that,” Ratten said.

“That is the worrying concern. If something did happen, would a player sue the ground? It has happened before. It happened in my time as a player, [with] Luke O’Sullivan.

“That is something they may need to consider when scheduling.”

However, Eagles coach Adam Simpson had nothing but praise for the ground staff, who put in an overnight effort to ensure the turf was fit to play after a week of heavy rain had left the surface in terrible shape.

“I thought they did a great job getting the game away with the way it was heading last night and the rain that’s been here all week,” he said.

“The problem we had was one side of the ground was quite dry and the other was quite boggy. That’s OK. Both teams had to deal with it.”

The Saints’ win leaves them only percentage behind the eighth-placed Western Bulldogs.

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