While two of our senior umpires made solid comebacks on the weekend in the VFL, that was soured by a serious calf injury to our new Friday night specialist, Chris Kamolins. Chris was replaced at three-quarter time in the North Melbourne v. Hawthorn game by Matthew Leppard after tearing his calf late in the third. Channel Seven showed Chris’s complete frustration during the break when he threw his whistle into the ground after realising the extent of the injury. He could spend the next four weeks on the sidelines.
Field umpire Andrew Stephens (calf) and boundary umpire Cameron Ward (hamstring) were added to the injured list after training in Brisbane last Wednesday night and had to be replaced in the Gold Coast Suns v. Collingwood match prior to the weekend.
Heath Ryan (achilles) and Stuart Wenn (planta facia) both returned to the VFL after significant recovery periods. Stuart who has been sidelined for 10 weeks was more relieved to be back umpiring. He then doubled up by sitting on the bench as the emergency umpire at Skilled Stadium.
Matthew Leppard is another umpire who can’t take a trick at the moment. He took a “big hit” in the last 10 minutes of the Werribee v. Nth Ballarat game on Saturday. “It was probably the second biggest hit I’ve had in a game,” said Matt, who was still sore on Sunday.
Shane Thiele, who umpired his 100th game last weekend in Adelaide, became the 123rd boundary umpire in AFL/VFL history to umpire 100 games.
Luke Roberts moved another game clear of James Savage in the neck and neck race for the highest number of games umpired by a NSW/ACT umpire. James remained on 131 games when he was appointed as the emergency goal umpire, while Luke took the field in his 133rd game when GWS played Adelaide.