Clayton Oliver act comes to light as Melbourne Demons savaged over 'pathetic' claim

Campbell Brown has taken aim at Demons officials in an ugly fallout from their loss to Carlton.

Clayton Oliver, pictured here telling Patrick Cripps his nose was bleeding.
Clayton Oliver told Patrick Cripps his nose was bleeding, rather than telling the umpires. Image: Channel 7

Eagle-eyed AFL fans have highlighted the moment Clayton Oliver told Patrick Cripps his nose was bleeding - rather than alerting the umpire - late in Melbourne's heartbreaking semi-final loss to Carlton. Cripps went off the field under the blood rule early in the game after he was hit in the head with a high bump from Kysaiah Pickett.

Cripps' nose started bleeding again late in the game, but he stayed on the field and helped the Blues snatch a dramatic two-point victory with a goal in the final minute. The Carlton star could be seen with blood on his guernsey after the full-time siren, sparking questions from Demons fans as to why he wasn't made to go off a second time.

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On Tuesday night, vision emerged on social media of the moment Oliver alerted Cripps to the blood coming from his nose, which helped Cripps avoid detection from the umpires. Oliver could have easily pointed out the blood to the officials, which probably would have forced Cripps to leave the field for a second time. But the Melbourne player showed his class and didn't, which may have cost his side the game in the end.

"Props to Clayton Oliver," one person wrote on social media. "Most players would have alerted the umpire to the blood coming from Cripps’ nose. He tells Cripps to wipe it. And they go at it again."

Another commented: "That’s awesome from Clarry. Respect." While a third said: "Kudos to Oliver. That is actually awesome to see."

Campbell Brown blasts Demons over 'pathetic' claims

Meanwhile, Campbell Brown has ripped into Demons officials who reportedly claimed the Angus Brayshaw incident against Collingwood was a big reason for their straight-sets exit. The Demons became the first team under the current system to suffer back-to-back straight-sets exits from the finals, following their similar flop in 2022.

Brayshaw was knocked unconscious by Brayden Maynard as Melbourne lost to Collingwood in the first week of the finals. Leading reporter Jon Ralph reported this week that “senior figures” at Melbourne felt the uncertainty around Brayshaw’s health played a huge role in the Dees' exit because they players were "emotionally charged".

Angus Brayshaw, pictured here after being knocked out by Brayden Maynard.
Angus Brayshaw was knocked out by Brayden Maynard in Melbourne's loss to Collingwood. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

But Brown has described those sentiments as "absolutely pathetic", tearing into the Demons. “I don’t want to hear the bloody complaints and excuses from the Melbourne Football Club,” he said on SEN radio on Tuesday.

“I don’t want to hear them full stop, let’s be honest, they choked twice. One, because they aren’t as good as what they think they are and two, they can’t execute in front of goals.

“The commentary out of senior officials was absolutely pathetic, saying that the Brayshaw concussion really impacted the playing group and that’s the reason we were out in straight sets. I agree that he’s a really important player and had he been playing they probably win the first final and the probably win the second final. But don’t look for excuses and give me that garbage, get mentally stronger as a playing group, I won’t have it.”

Discover more of our AFL finals coverage.

Speaking on Monday night, Melbourne great Garry Lyon and Collingwood champion Nathan Buckley also dismissed the suggestion. “You can make excuses everywhere... it’s hard to back up again after a premiership. They’ve backed up twice in a row. Top four twice. I want you to back up again and put yourself in a position again," Lyon said.

“I want them to identify the issue and blind Freddy can identity it (in their front half) and I want it coached. Coached better, the system coached better. The thing I want most is you suck it up, cop all of this coming at ya... and you don’t feel sorry for yourself and you reload. That’s what (coach) Simon Goodwin needs to do with this group.”

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