Essendon’s 17 free-kicks as opposed to Collingwood’s 27 made clear on Sunday that there is a disparity in differentials being unattended to – and Dons coach John Worsfold would like to know why.
The confused coach is set to speak to AFL umpires boss Hayden Kennedy later this week to discuss the club’s “alarming” free-kick differential – with the Bombers receiving a total 35 less free kicks than their opponents in three weeks, the club is looking for clarity.
“It would be fair to say that I want general clarity. We’re down 35 free kicks in three weeks which is really quite alarming,” coach John Worsfold told afl.com.au.
“That doesn’t mean anyone’s made any mistakes, other than some of our guys’ technical stuff or our understanding of it so we need to be clear on that.”
The Bombers have the second-worst free-kick differential this season, while Collingwood has had the most favourable run with a differential of +76.
A week prior to their clash with the Magpies, the Bombers were again on the wrong side of the ledger, with an 11-21 count against North Melbourne.
“There’s a level of concern around and we would like to get to the bottom of it, if we can,” Worsfold said.
“We’re not suggesting that umpiring is the reason why we win or lose, you just want clarification on consistency”.
Round 16 saw umpires hot on players trails for holding the ball, with the Bombers on the wrong side of several confusing decisions in regard to prior opportunity.
“The prior opportunity is a real tough one. The AFL probably have to say, ‘Is there any good definition of what prior opportunity is? And if there’s not then maybe it’s either dropping the ball or it’s not,'” Worsfold said.
“I’m not sure if it’s around specific types of free kicks that’s why I want Hayden to come and address us. He’ll have a better analysis of what’s been going wrong for us and why we’re either giving away so many free kicks or potentially not getting any.”
A finish in the top-eight seems to be slipping away from the 12th-place Dons’ grasp this season; but a victory over the 17th-place Suns may give them the mathematical push they need.