AFL 2022: Sydney Swans def Collingwood Magpies, Tom Papley goal, free kick push in the back, dropped mark

Was it the call that robbed Collingwood of a spot in the AFL Grand Final?

Magpies fans are up in arms after Tom Papley was awarded a contentious free kick that proved the difference in Sydney’s thrilling one-point win in the preliminary final at the SCG on Saturday.

The Swans had led by 36 points at one stage but the Magpies mounted a trademark comeback and were absolutely charging in the last quarter.

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Sydney was desperate to halt the momentum when the ball flew towards Papley in the forward pocket.

The livewire small forward was sandwiched between Collingwood defenders Darcy Moore and Isaac Quaynor when he clearly pushed Moore into the back with both hands.

But as Papley lost control of a juggling mark attempt, Quaynor whacked him around the head, which was enough for the umpire to give Papley the free kick.

He went back and slotted the goal to put Sydney ahead by 20 points halfway through the fourth quarter.

“So the two hands in the back weren’t paid,” Channel 7 commentator Hamish McLachlan said.

“The umpire had a perfect view of it,” Luke Hodge added.

“Looked like two hands in the back for sure.”

“He knows how big that was Tom Papley,” commentator Luke Darcy said.

“Maybe a little fortuitous.”

The Magpies continued their insane comeback but ultimately fell just one point short as the Swans held on for a heart-stopping 14.11 (95) to 14.10 (54) victory.

Papley’s goal was the only major Sydney kicked in the last quarter, compared to Collingwood’s four.

Viewers slammed the umpire’s decision to give Papley the free kick, with arguing many it cost Collingwood the game.

Sports editor Paul Johnson tweeted: “Yeah that was horrendous umpiring to give Papley a free.”

Writer Bianca Hall said: “So you can push someone in the back, drop your mark and get a free kick for it. Good to know.”

The SMH’s Angus Livingston posted: “That wasn’t a mark for two reasons but okay.”

Papley was unphased by the post-game controversy and said he should have been given a free kick for a push in the back earlier in the game and it was just a case of footy karma.

“Nah, just a bit of forward craft,” he told Channel 7.

“I didn’t get one when (John) Noble pushed me in the back so play on.”

Papley kicked three goals for the game and was one of Sydney’s best players.

The Swans will head to Melbourne next Saturday to take on Geelong in the Grand Final.

Sydney has lost its past two Grand Finals in 2014 and 2016 and will be aiming to win its first premiership since 2012.

The Swans are on a nine-game winning streak, while Geelong has won their past 15 matches.

Originally published as Magpies fuming over ‘horrendous’ free kick that ‘cost Collingwood a Grand Final berth’

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