AFL News: Jack Ginnivan, Holding the Ball, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Collingwood Beats North, Scores, Video


One of the AFL’s most divisive stars was once again at the center of another controversial moment on Saturday afternoon.

Jack Ginnivan became arguably the most divisive player in the league this season with his ability to take free kicks.

The Collingwood livewire forward drops low as opponents get close and more often than not ends up with an arm wrapped around his neck.

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His tactics have divided the legends of the game and embraced fans.

On Saturday afternoon, Ginnivan’s tactics were in the spotlight against North Melbourne as he tried to lure a free kick against North’s Luke Davies-Uniacke.

After a ball deep into Collingwood’s front line, Ginnivan received the ball on the boundary line from Scott Pendlebury and tried to dance around Davies-Uniacke’s tackle.

Ginnivan sank low and Davies-Uniacke’s left arm ended up around the Pies’ neck, but the referee said he ducked and eventually blew the whistle – Ginnivan pinged for holding the ball.

David King of Fox Footy weighed in at the time of division.

“That’s the only one, you can hear the referee explain and say ‘no, you dived’ and that’s considered his previous chance and he’s gone,” King said.

“He challenges the umpire to make a call and then he cannot question the call. He gets as many as he gives, so I think that’s a good referee.

“If you look here, he pulls the free kick by lowering his height. Now I personally think that’s a free kick. I think there’s some skill in that, but I’m glad the referee saw that recently.”

Former Hawthorn star Campbell Brown praised the referee as he called out players for ducking and milking free kicks.

“Excellent referee. Players who intentionally dive into tackles do not deserve to be awarded a free kick. Really well tried,” Brown tweeted.

Brown wasn’t the only one to praise the umpires’ decision, while SEN’s Nic Negrepontis also threw his weight behind the call.

“Excellent referee. I hope this precedent stands,” he wrote.

Of course, not everyone agreed with fans also wondering why Ginnivan was being convicted so harshly for doing what Geelong’s Joel Selwood has been doing since he entered the competition.

Fox Footy’s Jonathan Brown said he didn’t want players to be “encouraged” to drop their knees on a tackle in an attempt to win a free kick.

“It’s not so much not in the spirit of the game, I just don’t want players to bow their heads,” he said.

“The umpires are coached and advised during the match – they do talk about things that are happening. They would have obviously been made aware at half time that Ginnivan had done it a couple of times in the first half. Be aware of it.”

Ginnivan was on fire for Collingwood early on, but it was North Melbourne who stole the spotlight at the MCG.

Putting the pies to the sword and looking like they were going to cause the season spillover through the first three quarters.

However, a final five-to-zero run saw the Pies run over the top of North and claim the 13.10 (88) to 12.9 (81) win and slide to fifth on the ladder.

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