Brisbane player Tom Rockliff upset North Melbourne opponent Brent Harvey and coach Brad Scott with a comment after the final siren of Saturday’s win.
AFL legend Leigh Matthews has criticised North Melbourne coach Brad Scott for approaching Tom Rockliff in the emotion-charged aftermath of the match against Brisbane.
As Lions players celebrated their shock four-point win over the Kangaroos, Rockliff mouthed off at North veteran Brent Harvey.
The `Roos star was clearly angered and sought out Rockliff a few seconds later to shake his hand, but also to let the Brisbane opponent know he was not impressed.
Then Scott also had words with Rockliff as they waited on the ground for a post-match presentation to retired Lions great Jonathan Brown.
It was a massive night for the Lions as they sent off Brown with the win.
“Yeah, Tom Rockliff was a bit cheeky, Boomer made an issue (of it) and that’s fine,” Matthews told Channel Seven’s Game Day.
“But five minutes later, I don’t think it was Brad’s call to have any interaction with an opposition player.
“I think that’s a big mistake.”
Matthews, now a Lions board member, coached Scott during Brisbane’s great era of three premierships in 2001-03.
Scott told Channel Nine’s Footy Show: “I can guarantee you, no harsh words were exchanged – there is no animosity between myself and Tom Rockliff.”
After speaking to Rockliff, Scott then went over and had a word with Lions coach Justin Leppitsch.
Scott said he did not talk to Leppitsch about Rockliff.
Rockliff and Harvey are well-known for being lippy with opposition players during matches.
But Rockliff conceded he broke an unwritten law by going on with it after the final siren.
“Obviously I will follow up with Boomer,” Rockliff told The Footy Show.
“It was spur of the moment – there were words exchanged between us all night and it was just more the emotion of the win.
“I don’t think I went too far, it was probably just more after the siren.
“Once the final siren goes, you shake hands and move on – it was probably just the timing.”
Rockliff would not repeat what he said to Harvey or what Scott said to him.
Asked he took any offence from Scott approaching him, Rockliff said “yes and no”.
“Brad wears his heart on his sleeve and that’s his call.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes.
“As I said, the emotion can get the better of people.”
Rockliff insists his initial comment to Harvey did not break any vilification rules.