Furious Nic Naitanui Flings Opponent Into Fence After Dreadlock Pull
The West Coast Eagles easily beat the Essendon Bombers in the first match of the 2019 AFL finals last night, but the 17.14 (116) to 9.7 (61) scoreline is not what everybody's talking about.
The issue on everybody's mind is the moment champion West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui responded angrily to Bomber Zach Merrett pulling his dreadlocks, flinging him into the fence.
You can watch the moment in the video above. It was pretty rough stuff.
This incident unfolded in the third quarter when the Eagles already appeared to have the match well in their keeping, and Bomber frustration was high.
As the two players wrestled near the boundary line after Naitanui had kicked the ball, Merrett grabbed Nic Nat's hair.
It really was a little unclear whether the brief dreadlock tug was deliberate or not. But what's super obvious is that Naitanui absolutely hated it, hurling his opponent towards the fence in what looked like a moment of pure instinct.
And then a fan got involved, spraying his can Merrett's way.
What happens next will be interesting.
Naitanui has been reported for rough conduct and will face the AFL Tribunal to see whether he can play in the rest of the finals series -- beginning next Friday with the clash against the loser of tonight's Collingwood vs Geelong match.