West Coast youngster Willie Rioli inexplicably put himself right in the middle of a hot AFL issue when he slapped Ray Chamberlain on the backside.
The incident occurred in the first quarter of the Eagles’ win over Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium on Sunday after he gave away a clumsy 50m penalty against Blake Hardwick.
It appeared a friendly tap and umpire Chamberlain didn’t seem to mind but after four players were sent to the AFL tribunal for intentional umpire contact in recent weeks, it was an ill-advised act at best.
AFL match review officer Michael Christian will hand down his assessment of Sunday’s games on Monday and Rioli is in danger of being referred straight to the tribunal.
“We want to respect the umpires and we want make sure we acknowledge that touching them is no-go, but there’s a human part of it as well,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said, pleading his player’s case.
“I hope it doesn’t go any further than that, but in the environment right now, it’s probably not the right thing to do.
“But having said that, they’re human and we want to try to ensure we engage these umps on a positive note.”
St Kilda’s Jake Carlisle will almost certainly have a case to answer after his late spoiling attempt concussed Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt early in the Tigers’ win at the MCG.
Fremantle’s Aaron Sandilands will draw scrutiny for a bump for the second time this season after he and North Melbourne’s Sam Durdin were both shaken up in the final term of the Kangaroos’ win at Optus Stadium.
GWS midfielder Dylan Buckley will be scrutinised for his head clash with Essendon’s Matt Guelfi.
Collingwood ruck-forward Mason Cox has already escaped with a fine for a high bump on Western Bulldogs playmaker Jason Johannisen on Friday night.