Brisbane promised to move on from the Harrison Petty sledging scandal that marred their Round 23 loss, but one Lion couldn’t resist the chance to have a dig on Friday night.
After a Dayne Zorko sledge so personal it left Petty in tears when the two teams last met, it didn’t take long for Lincoln McCarthy to remind the Dees defender of the moment in their semi final at the MCG.
Vision captured Petty and McCarthy coming together with the duo making front-on contact.
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When they separated, McCarthy was spotted making an apparent crying gesture to Petty who was able to laugh off the sledge and return to his opponent.
Fox Footy’s Nick Riewoldt said McCarthy would be better served focusing on winning the footy, after a contest moments earlier where the Lion went with just one hand instead of two and was bumped off the ball by Demon Jake Melksham.
“Harrison Petty is involved in a situation,” Riewoldt said.
“This is the first bit of vision – Lincoln McCarthy going back, you go back with one hand … when the ball’s there, the really important stuff to be won, and you don’t win it and then you want to carry on with the rubbing of the eyes stuff.
“I think when you look at the contest, Brisbane haven’t been as tough as they wanted to be.
“Even the (Jack) Payne spoil late; when you’re in a position to be able to mark, you don’t back yourself in.
“So bit of by-play, McCarthy goes with the rubbing of the eyes, ‘you cried against us last time’ – but I’m saying when the ball’s there to be won, that’s the real test and you failed it.”
“That’s everything they talked against leading into this match,” Nathan Buckley added.
“(Coach) Chris Fagan was keen on actions, not words.”
Speaking after the match, Demons coach Simon Goodwin said he hoped McCarthy hadn’t targeted Petty.
“I didn’t see it,“ Goodwin told reporters.
“I’d be pretty disappointed if that was the case, but that’s not really our issue. That’s their issue, it’s their footy club. If that’s how they want to act, it’s up to them. It’s not how we act at our footy club.”
Zorko was widely condemned for the personal comments he made to Petty, and was forced to apologise in the aftermath.
There were even calls for Zorko to be stripped of Brisbane’s captaincy in the wake of the sledge.
Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon said it was clear the “argy-bargy” from the last time the two teams met wasn’t there for the semi final.
“The argy-bargy, the aggro, the angst hasn’t really been evident, except from the crowd.”
Petty had been one of his team’s best in the opening half, with seven intercepts, seven of his 11 disposals contested, five marks and three tackles.
There was a moment after half time where Petty came in close contact with Zorko as the Demon made the tackle.
A stray forearm did appear to come high from Petty as boos rang out around the MCG.
After a quiet first half, tensions threatened to spill over in the third – similar to those that broke out at the Gabba last month as Brisbane mounted a spirited comeback.
And it was the Lions who came away with a 13-point win to book a preliminary final showdown with Geelong.