The validity of the AFL’s Mark of the Week has come under question after Richmond forward Shai Bolton was sensationally overlooked for the coveted accolade.
Bolton secured a ridiculous mark in the first quarter of Friday evening’s clash against the Geelong Cats, with several pundits labelling it an early contender for Mark of the Year.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
The 175cm Tiger jumped on the shoulders of the 198cm tall Mark Blicavs in the goalsquare, taking the spectacular chest mark high in the air.
Social media erupted in response to the 22-year-old’s grab, with fans calling the move “ridiculous” and “mark of the year so far for sure”.
However, the AFL community was gobsmacked on Thursday evening to discover Bolton did not win Mark of the Week, with fans instead voting for Brody Mihocek’s grab over North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington on Saturday.
Collingwood’s mammoth fanbase seemingly flooded the polls with extra support for the Magpies forward, swaying the vote in his favour — the final margin was 50.8 per cent to Mihocek and 41.2 per cent to Bolton.
Collingwood’s official Twitter account sheepishly tweeted on Thursday: “The power of the Magpie Army.”
Mihocek’s mark was undeniably impressive, but any neutral footy supporter would agree Bolton has been cruelly snubbed.
In fact, during Fox Footy’s coverage of Collingwood’s victory on Saturday evening, commentator Anthony Hudson immediately referred to Mihocek’s effort as the “second best mark of the week”.
Richmond great Matthew Richardson tweeted: “With all due respect to Brody, this wasn’t mark of the week. I reckon he would even agree with that.”
Sports writer Ronny Lerner posted: “What an absolute farce.”
Sydney Morning Herald reporter Andrew Wu tweeted: “Have to feel for Shai Bolton. First he broke his wrist, now he’s been robbed.”
The Age journalist Daniel Cherny posted: “What a moronic system … not quite as moronic as it could be given Bolton can still be nominated for MOTY as wildcard but just take it out of the fans’ hands completely.”
Speaking to Fairfax Media in 2017, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan vowed to review the voting process after Jeremy Howe suffered a shock defeat in the Mark of the Year category, but Bolton’s snub proves more needs to be done.
READ MORE: AFL boss hits back at Richmond coach
Bolton made headlines this week after he became embroiled in a nightclub fight with Richmond teammate Daniel Rioli.
The two-time premiership player is expected to be sidelined for several weeks after fracturing his wrist in the incident.