Boundary umpire Mitch Lefevre celebrated his 150th game on the weekend. Mitch, who commenced his career in Tasmania and moved to Melbourne in 2008 when he made the AFL list is one of the most liked team men in the group. Mitch has umpired six finals. See more on Mitch later in the week.
Field umpire Rob O’Gorman had a very strenuous weekend. He took the field in a VFL match on Saturday, expecting to just sit on the bench in the Collingwood v Western Bulldogs game at Etihad on Sunday. Until Andrew Mitchell took ill. Rob was put into the game, his second in two days. While he certainly looked up and about during the match, he will have a pretty quiet week on the training track.
Someone in the field umpire group has walked in front of a black cat or had a curse put on them. Round 13 saw another two rookies take the field when field umpires became incapacitated. Matt Leppard was knocked down in general play in the West Coast v. Gold Coast game and left the field for a few minutes to compose himself and get his hamstring looked at, thinking he tweaked it when he hit the ground. Matt Adams, sitting in only his second AFL game replaced Leppard during that time. In Sydney, Simon Meredith was replaced by second year rookie Brent Pawley. Simon became very ill during the game and was forced off early in the last quarter. Brent had years of experience to draw on, 95 VFL senior games and 45 NEAFL games including 2 grand finals. The Sydney v Port Adelaide game went to the wire with Brent, Scott Jeffery and Ben Ryan working extremely well as a team to get the job done.
The two replacements this weekend has taken the total for this season to eight, a record in the VFL/AFL. The most publicised was Troy Pannell when he was stretchered off during a game. He returned to the AFL panel on the weekend for the first time since that hit.