Geelong’s Shaun Higgins has been fined $1000 for staging against Fremantle on Thursday night.
Higgins drew the ire of footy pundits at halftime of the game for appearing to milk a free kick after a tackle from Luke Ryan.
Ryan wrapped Higgins up and sent him to the turf, leaving the Cat to clutch at his face — despite the fact his head hadn’t made contact with the ground.
The Match Review Officer’s guidelines dictate that “a player will be reported for staging, which can include excessive exaggeration of contact in an unsportsmanlike manner.”
Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall didn’t have to think too hard when asked at halftime whether Higgins’ display constituted “excessive exaggeration”.
“It doesn’t look great. I mean he landed on his shoulder and his back and then to go down holding the head like that,” the four-time premiership player said.
“(He) got up shortly thereafter, pretty much straight after. Maybe he was fishing for a free kick, didn’t get.
“We don’t like seeing it.”
"He landed on his shoulder and his back, and to go down holding his head…"
Chief wasn't thrilled with this act from Shaun Higgins – and used it as an excuse to roast Johnno 😂
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Match Review Officer Michael Christian agreed with Dunstall, hitting Higgins with a fine on Friday evening.
The incident carries a $1500 penalty as a first offence, but Higgins can accept a $1000 fine with an early guilty plea.
Speaking on Fox Footy, St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt called the Higgins fine a “great decision”.
“It’s hard enough for the umpires in real time to be able to make those decisions, especially when there’s so much emphasis being placed on the head,” Riewoldt said on Friday evening.
“If your head doesn’t wear any impact, then why are you grabbing it?
“I think it’s a good decision.”
Higgins became the second player to be fined for staging this season, after Joe Daniher milked a free kick against the Cats earlier this season.
Unlike Higgins, Daniher earned a dubious free kick for his dive, but was met with criticism from AFL experts and fans online during the game.
Higgins (L) joined Geelong from North Melbourne at the beginning of the season. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The Dockers’ first weeknight game in five years wasn’t one to remember for the Freo faithful.
The Cats handed the side a 69-point loss — its biggest defeat of Justin Longmuir’s tenure as senior coach.
It was just the second time Geelong had tasted victory at the venue since it began hosting AFL games in 2018.
Coach Chris Scott said he was pleased that his team is continuing to improve as the season reaches its pointy end.
“We’re getting closer,” he said on Thursday night.
“We haven’t been as good as we could over the past month. We had an off night against Brisbane at the Gabba. Had a tight, lucky win against Bulldogs and played well against Port.
“Our plan is to get better as the year goes on.
“With some players to come back and some who have been managed, we have a lot of guys who haven’t had the arduous workload of a full season.
“We can hit our stride and be in good form going into the finals.”
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