Melbourne says the AFL will look into an incident involving young defender Harry Petty, who was left in tears on Friday night after an on-field comment.
An emotional Petty was comforted by Melbourne coaches, officials and players at three-quarter time after his team’s big win over the Brisbane Lions on Friday night.
The team’s key defender Steven May was first seen putting his arm around Petty before Mark Williams, Troy Chaplin and Simon Goodwin all joined the South Australian.
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Demons football boss Alan Richardson then brought on Lions counterpart Danny Daly at the last change to alert Brisbane to Petty’s concerns.
Petty started the final quarter on the bench but returned in the fourth quarter to play the rest of the game.
Petty was seen having a long chat with Lions captain Dayne Zorko after the game.
Fox Footy showed footage of Petty meeting Zorko at three-quarter time.
Goodwin said the matter would be referred to the AFL but praised the Lions for their handling of the difficult situation.
“‘Petes’ was upset because he thought he had heard something inappropriate about a family member,” Goodwin told reporters.
“We’ve spoken to Brisbane and obviously the AFL will be looking. That’s the details we’re giving now and we’ll only hand it over to the AFL.
“Petes was a little emotional at three quarters. He went away and got himself back into the game.
Brisbane are very apologetic to us and this is a football club. They are a very respectable, humble football club and we take them at their word.
Asked how Petty was feeling, Goodwin said, “I’m fine. It’s all good.
“I thought the last quarter was really strong.”
May sees Petty get angry and says it “gets on his nerves.”
“I don’t know exactly what was said, but Petes wasn’t what he used to be. “If you know him, he’s a tough country boy, he doesn’t get angry,” May said AFL Nation.
“I had a chat with Zorko at the end and told him everything you said, you crossed the line. He was very sorry but told me he didn’t say it, I think there was a misunderstanding.
There’s a line you can’t cross on the field.
Asked if he knew what happened, Demons skipper Max Gawn told Channel 7: “I wasn’t there. There were few words. All I saw was my teammate in tears.
“It got us going a little bit and we all wanted to get out in the last quarter, but there are a lot of big fish to fry in the next few weeks.
“I think they fixed it, there was a few handshakes so I hope all is well.”
Fox Football’s Gary Lyons added: “It’s unusual to see someone as angry as Harrison, but we don’t know the circumstances.”
Zorko was at the center of a wide range of in-game brawls and off-field incidents.
Asked if the Deuce had gone into the game with a plan to target Zorko, Norm Smith Medalist Christian Petracca told Fox Footy after the game: “No, that was just something that happened in the game.
“I think there are only two competitive teams playing all night. It was a fiery game, we wanted to bring the heat from the start. In the second half I felt that we were much more in control, after the first half it was set up with him because of the attack in the foot area, which really set us up. Defensively I thought it was unbelievable and offensively everything was going because when you put the work in on defense everything just opens up for you.
“We knew going in it was going to be a hostile environment and we knew they would bring the attack. The last time we played them we did a number at the MCG, so it was important for us to control that attack.
Sometimes as midfielders you go into attack and overdo it… For us there was only one ball carrier, trust the player and the rest take care of their other men.
More to come.