UMPIRES boss Wayne Campbell admits Carlton forward Troy Menzel should have been paid a free kick in the dying seconds of Geelong's thrilling five-point win over the Blues on Friday night.
But Campbell also says the umpire in the spotlight, Ben Ryan, was unsighted and as such he was comfortable with the call.
Had a free kick been given, Menzel would have had the chance to kick the match-winning goal.
Menzel was caught high by Geelong defender Jared Rivers as he lunged to take possession of the ball about 15m out from goal with 33 seconds left in the game.
"It was a free kick. The angle showed that Rivers got him over the shoulder," Campbell told SEN's Crunch Time on Saturday.
"Ben Ryan, who was the umpire, was unsighted. (Umpires coach Hayden Kennedy) is very strong on not guessing to pay the free kick."
Blues coach Mick Malthouse was scathing in his post-match press conference, believing Menzel and Mitch Robinson should have been paid free kicks with the ball camped in Carlton's forward-50 late in the game.
With 13 seconds to play, Robinson pushed Geelong runner Nigel Lappin out of his way and Malthouse was adamant it impeded the Blue's path to the ball.
However, Campbell was happy with the umpires' decision not to blow the whistle in that instance, because they didn't believe Lappin had impacted play.
"We would say it's not a free-kick," Campbell said.
"From an umpiring point-of-view we don't think he (Lappin) impacted play because it was at a stoppage."
Malthouse said after the match that umpires should be brave enough to pay free kicks late in the game.
But Campbell responded by saying the whistleblowers were coached to pay free kicks regardless of how long is left to play or where the ball is positioned on the ground.
In a game full of contentious calls, Campbell also declared a misdirected centre bounce that led to a goal to Geelong's Josh Walker in the second quarter should have been recalled.
"Clearly, both ruckmen couldn't contest the ball so we should have called it back," he said.
"Our whole aim is to not impact the game and obviously Geelong go down and kick a goal. So we probably impacted the game with that one.
"It's just a shame what was a really great game of footy… that we're talking about umpiring. That's disappointing from our point of view."Twitter: @TravKing_AFL