Nathan Vardy was well beaten by Max Gawn. Picture: Getty Images
Nathan Vardy was well beaten by Max Gawn. Picture: Getty Images

Eagle criticised by his coach for push on winded Gawn

NATHAN Vardy's follow-up on Max Gawn on Friday night was "not a great look", according to West Coast coach Adam Simpson, who has addressed the act with his ruckman.

Vardy ran to Gawn - who appeared to be winded on the ground - seconds after Eagle Liam Ryan's high-flying mark over the Demons star, pushing him down.

Vardy "got touched up" in the ruck by Gawn, Simpson said, and might have seen the incident as an opportunity to "return a bit of lip" after a night of "niggle".

"(Gawn) had 50 hit-outs to advantage … I think Vardy took the opportunity to try and at least return a bit of lip," Simpson said on SEN.

"Not a great look for us. We don't really like that type of thing.

"We don't need to do it, but I dare say there was a bit of niggle throughout the night, so I think when he saw him on the ground he took an opportunity to give him some feedback which I think Vards was getting for most of the night. Gawny's a big boy - I'm sure he's OK."

The incident took some of the shine off what could potentially be the mark of the year.

With the scores deadlocked late in the final term, Ryan produced a piece of magic when he jumped into Gawn to take a stunning mark.

The force of Ryan knocked Gawn to the ground and he appeared to be winded.

Vardy immediately ran over to Gawn and shoved him.

West Coast forward Willie Rioli also got involved, running over to rub Gawn's head.

Simpson said he had spoken with Vardy on Saturday morning regarding the incident.

"No harm, no foul really," he said.

"It's just not a great look. We'll keep backing in Vards. He's working really hard, but he got touched up in the ruck."

Liam Ryan launches over Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn. Picture: AFL Photos
Liam Ryan launches over Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn. Picture: AFL Photos

Veteran commentator Bruce McAvaney was not impressed with Vardy's antics.

"I hated looking at Vardy doing that," he said on commentary.

"Gawn has turned him inside out tonight. He's destroyed him. That was cheeky."

Gawn absolutely dominated their ruck match-up, finishing with 55 hit-outs to Vardy's seven.

He also had 15 touches to Vardy's five.

Former St Kilda player Leigh Montagna said Vardy would be regretting his actions.

"I'm sure Vardy would probably be a bit disappointed in his actions," Montagna said on Triple M.

"You could see when he did it, he got caught up in the adrenaline and the emotion of the Liam Ryan mark."

Meanwhile, premiership defender Lewis Jetta could come under MRO scrutiny after a sling tackle on Melbourne's Tim Smith.

The incident was part of a controversial passage of play, in which Smith stopped playing thinking a free kick for holding the ball was about to be paid.

It wasn't, and he was drilled by Jetta.

West Coast won the match 13.7 (85) to 9.15(69).