AFL 360 host Mark Robinson has called on Tom Lynch’s teammates to pull him aside and outline the hit his reputation is taking after a series of on-field cheap shots.
Lynch escaped with a pair of $1000 fines for two separate incidents in Monday night’s game against the Gold Coast Suns but Robinson says his personal brand has been tarnished.
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“If Tom Lynch was a mate of mine I would sit here right now and say ‘Mate, you’re being a d****, what are you doing? … If you don’t care what people think, no problem. But as a great mate of yours I’m telling you that everyone’s thinking you’re a d****bag for what you’re doing at the moment’,” Robinson said.
“To go up and (feign) to hit Collins (at another point in the game), that made him look like a fool. Why are you acting like this? Play hard, tough football, earn respect. At the moment he’s losing respect.
“He can live with that, that’s up to him. He’s a good person Tom but he’s just acting really badly on the field.”
Melbourne great David Schwarz also laid the boots into Lynch and his off the ball action.
“He’ll win goose of the year the way he’s going,” Schwarz said.
“I think what’s happened to Tom is he’s been told by someone at the Richmond Football Club ‘Tom, I want you to go out and be a bit more aggressive because I reckon you’re not showing enough bite.’
“I’d grab him by the throat if he was my opponent and just let it be known. Young Collins clearly didn’t enjoy it, but Lynch has been doing this for three or four weeks.”
The AFL said it would crack down on punching back in 2018 after West Coast’s Andrew Gaff struck Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw in a blow that broke the youngster’s jaw.
But once again they’ve decided not to put the foot down and another Richmond superstar will be free to line up for the team’s next game.
In the fourth quarter, Lynch left Suns defender Sam Collins momentarily hunched over before he took a mark inside 50 and kicked a crucial goal late in the contest.
Behind the goals footage showed Lynch swinging his right arm which connected to the midsection of Collins.
The AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian deemed the shot as intentional conduct with low impact and body contact, which results in only a $1000 fine.
It wasn’t the only shot however that came under the microscope with a second incident occurring in the third quarter when Lynch delivered jumper punches to Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts, but again he was only handed a $1000 sanction.
It’s the latest incident for Lynch who was fined for misconduct after shoving the head of Brisbane Lions defender Alex Witherden’s head into the ground during round 10.
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Footage of Collins not flinching when Lynch pretended to throw his hands up drew widespread praise for the Sun and Schwarz said the Tigers forward should stop acting in a way that doesn’t suit who he is.
“It’s unnecessary because he’s a good mark, he’s a good kick, he knows how to play the game, but he’s not tough,” he said.
“He’s not a Barry Hall, he’s not a Plugger Lockett or a Derm who’s actually going to go the biff.
“If he keeps continuing to do it someone’s going to get him. Someone will line him up and we’re going to go ‘Guess what Tom? You probably deserved it.’
“Stop being a knucklehead, play the game and stop trying to be something you’re not.”
Lynch’s escape from a ban follows in the footsteps of teammate Dustin Martin being let off with a $1750 fine for striking Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff.
It was Martin’s second fine for striking in 2020 and left another Melbourne great in Garry Lyon slamming the AFL for not taking punching seriously.
“We’ve been told about this punching. These come into vogue and then they go out of vogue,” Lyon said on Fox Footy’s On The Couch.
“Dustin gives a little right (hand) to the neck (of Rockliff), so that’s a fine for Dustin. It’s the second fine for striking after this punch to the guts (on McDonald).
“The AFL, if you’re watching: You are condoning punching to the head and punching to the guts.
“So don’t tell us in any other way, because you’re not taking a stand and you’re not stamping out punching to the head. You are kidding yourself and don’t tell us any anything else either.”
Lyon accused the league of double standards after talking a big game, but letting the superstar off the hook.
“Don’t ever come back to us and tell us you’re taking striking seriously again as they did about a year or two ago,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.
“‘Oh, we want to stamp out striking, it’s a bad look for the game, it sends a really bad message’. That is disingenuous rot from the AFL.
“So, Dusty went for the third time in two years for striking on the weekend. Just punched (Rockliff) in the throat — and OK it wasn’t that hard, but is that what you want?
“If that was his first time then I can accept ‘not enough force’, but it’s the third time in two years for striking and he hasn’t missed a game.
“I’m not going to go on about it, but don’t ever come back and say, ‘Oh the look of the game is important to us and we want to stamp out striking’ because that is just rot. Unmitigated rot.”