AFL umpire Shaun Ryan, who was officiating the ANZAC Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood, believes the controversial calls towards the end of the contest were the correct ones.
The game ended in tense fashion, after Bombers fans believes they should have received a holding the ball decision on Jaidyn Stephenson, before Pie Callum Brown was pushed in the back inside the forward 50.
92,000 fans on their feet in a classic.
— AFL (@AFL) April 25, 2019
Ryan spoke on SEN on Saturday, and backed the decisions made on the day.
“There was definitely some errors, but the five in the last quarter were not errors,” Ryan said.
“Upon review, they were the correct calls.”
Ryan believes the sheer atmosphere and noise of the crowd may have attributed to players stopping and assuming free kicks were called, when no whistle was blown.
“Two of the clear examples was when the players stopped and there was no whistle,” he said.
“That’s happened in my games two or three times over the years, but really, that’s just the result of the noise level, the players just can’t hear whether or not there’s been a whistle. Because of the scream of the crowd, the assume there’s been a whistle, they stop, look at us, we’re calling ‘play on’.
“It’s not ideal, but we just need to adjudicate according to the rules, and the players, there’s going to be circumstances where they can’t hear the whistle because of crowd noise.”