The moment Jasper Pittard kicked opponent Dan Butler
The moment Jasper Pittard kicked opponent Dan Butler

‘He kicked me’: Roos star in hot water

North Melbourne defender Jasper Pittard could find himself in hot water after seemingly attempting to kick opponent Dan Butler at Marvel Stadium.

During the second quarter of his round one clash against St Kilda, Pittard dived to claim a mark, but ended up sprawled on the turf. As Butler attempted to gather the footy, the Roos defender stuck his foot out, tripping his rival.

"He threw the leg out and tripped him, and the umpire missed it," Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell cried. "How did he miss that?"

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Umpire Ray Chamberlain had indeed not seen the incident, instead opting for a ball-up.

"He kicked me!" Butler screamed at the umpire, to no resolve. "Are you allowed to kick them?"

However, Chamberlain was not interested, bluntly ignoring the Saints player's pleas.

"Umpires are human, umpires make mistake. You just have to accept it," commentator Jason Dunstall said. "Yeah it was a free kick, but it's been missed. Get on with it."

Match Review Officer Michael Christian is set to look at the incident on Monday.

The 28-year-old Pittard has represented North Melbourne since 2019.
The 28-year-old Pittard has represented North Melbourne since 2019.

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt argued Pittard should not receive a suspension for the kick, instead suggesting a fine would be "appropriate".

"I think fine in that situation is appropriate, because you're not putting another player's career in danger by doing that," Riewoldt said on Fox Footy. "But we don't want to see it."

Ben Cunnington starred for an undermanned North Melbourne who staged a classic second-half fightback to overrun St Kilda in a stirring two-point win.

The Kangaroos were three men down before halftime on Sunday afternoon at an empty Marvel Stadium after losing Jack Ziebell (knee), Paul Ahern (hamstring) and Josh Walker (concussion) to injury.

They trailed by 29 points at the main break before tough midfielder Cunnington led the turnaround in the third quarter.

North piled on the next five goals and took the lead early in a seesawing final term before debutant Max King put the Saints back in front.

But Cunnington bobbed up in unfamiliar territory deep in attack to claim a clever contested mark and kick the final goal of the match to give the Kangaroos an 8.8 (56) to 7.12 (54) win.

North Melbourne trailed by 29 points at halftime
North Melbourne trailed by 29 points at halftime

St Kilda still had chances to pinch it at the death, but Rowan Marshall missed a late set shot and Roos defender Jamie Macmillan laid a brilliant diving smother on Paddy Ryder in the defensive goalsquare.

Cunnington finished with 25 disposals, six clearances and two goals and had plenty of support from Shaun Higgins, Jye Simpkin and Todd Goldtein, who was superb in the ruck opposed to Saints twin towers Marshall and Ryder.

The revamped St Kilda line-up featured all five recruits from last October's boom trade period and another three existing senior players who didn't manage more than five games last year.

Josh Walker flew high for a pack mark in the opening term when his legs were taken out from under him. The accidental hit sent Walker tumbling over before he landed on his back and neck.

He was left prone on the turf as trainers rushed out to help him out. After bring the game to a halt as the trainers and medical staff went to work, fans watching waited hoping for the best.

Several minutes later the North big man failed a concussion test on the bench and was officially ruled out for the remainder of the match.

With AAP

 

Originally published as 'He kicked me': Roos star in hot water



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