Shai Bolton taunt to Sam Docherty criticised by Damien Hardwick, Richmond captain, Richmond vs Carlton result, scores, updates, video highlights
Richmond star Shai Bolton has been reprimanded by his coach and a number of his senior teammates after a mid-match taunt aimed at Carlton’s Sam Docherty.
Bolton kicked two goals in the Tigers’ 11. 15. (81) to 9. 12. (66) win over the Blues at the MCG, and it was the second of his two majors that landed him in hot water with his team.
Tempers flared at the end of the third quarter with players from both sides involved in a fracas on the siren, with Bolton and Docherty going at it.
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Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Bolton pounced on a loose ball in the Tigers’ forward line and ran into an open goal to extend Richmond’s lead to 20 points.
However, before slotting the goal, Bolton looked back at Docherty, who was chasing behind him, showing the ball to the Carlton veteran and sticking his tongue out.
It was an act that Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said did not reflect the club’s culture.
“He’s made a mistake. It’s not us, it’s not what we’re about,” he said.
“He’ll be regretful, no question. He’ll be accountable and responsible for it. It’s certainly not a part of who he is and a part of what we are.
“We’re disappointed but we’ll work our way through it and support him and he’ll learn some lessons from it. It’s not a great look.
“One of the things we always want to do is honour our competition, and that probably goes against that.”
Bolton was also called out by Tigers co-captain Toby Nankervis after the match.
“He’s a great player and plays with a lot of flair, but I was a bit worried,” he told ABC Sport.
“There was still 15-odd minutes to go, so I wouldn’t be doing that, and I don’t think Shai would have done that if he had his time again.
“We want to be a humble football club that plays footy in the right way. I love the way Shai plays the game, and that maybe overstepped the mark a little bit.”
Veteran defender Nathan Broad also said he’d spoken to the 23-year-old about the taunt.
“I’ve already had a chat to Shai – it’s not a great look. He knows it too,” the Tigers defender told AFL Nation.
“He went up and apologised, I think.
“He’s still young and still working on his game. He’ll take it on the chin and move on.”
Cameras caught Bolton and Docherty sharing a warm embrace after the contest, with the youngster seemingly apologising for his taunt, and teammate Nick Vlastuin praised him for seeking out the Carlton star.
“I did see the footage of him going up to him after the game, which is great,” Vlastuin told Fox Footy.
“I think as long as you do that, it’s all theatre, it’s good for the crowd, a bit of fun, but the respect is still there.”
The win lifts Richmond into the top eight with an 8-5 record, while Carlton’s grip on the top four could be in jeopardy, with Michael Voss’ side currently clinging to fourth with a 9-4 record.
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