Shai Bolton made a mistake by mocking opponent Sam Docherty before he kicked an important goal in Richmond’s narrow AFL win over Carlton, says Tigers coach Damien Hardwick.
Bolton caused controversy early in the final quarter of Thursday night’s game at the MCG when he held the ball up for the pursuing Blues defender as he ran into an open goal.
It was the first major of the last term in a fiery game, but Bolton’s untimely celebration almost came back to bite him in the back as the Tigers took on a late challenge and held on to win by 15 points.
“It’s not us, it’s not our business and he will undoubtedly regret it,” said Hardwick.
“He will be responsible and accountable for it.
“It’s certainly not a part of who he is and what we are.
“We are disappointed but we will work our way through it and support him and he will learn some great lessons from it.
“It’s not a great look.”
The incident apparently stemmed from an exchange between Bolton and Docherty during a three-quarter melee, which flared up when Patrick Cripps objected to a push from Dion Prestia that caused the Blues skipper to hit his head against teammate Sam Walsh’s leg.
The majority of players from both sides rushed to protest against each other as tensions mounted between the traditional rivals.
Hardwick said Bolton’s move likely stemmed from frustration after his previous confrontation with Docherty.
“Yeah, probably, but the reality is that’s what footy is all about,” Hardwick said.
“One of the things we always want to do is honor our competition and that (action) will go against that.”
Carlton coach Michael Voss was trying to play a straight bat when questioned about Bolton’s decision to taunt Docherty.
“I wouldn’t even dream of coaching a player from another team,” said Voss.
“That’s up to Dimma (Hardwick) to deal with and I will deal with my own players.
“I’m pretty firm about that.
“If he thinks (action) is enough, well, that’s fine, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.”