Advertisement

Liam Baker challenges ban as AFL fans slam 'unacceptable' act in Richmond win

The Tigers have opted to challenge the decision after the brutal moment.

Richmond star Liam Baker has opted to fight his ban at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday after he cleared out Swans player Lewis Melican in their win on the weekend. Baker was handed a one game suspension after he charged into a contest, jumped, and collected Melican in the head with his shoulder.

There was uproar at the time with many claiming Baker would be in trouble for the shoulder having not appeared to make much attempt at smothering the ball. The Richmond star was only handed a one game suspension.

Richmond star Liam Baker (pictured right) has opted to fight his tribunal ban after he cleared out Swans player Lewis Melican in the Tigers' win on the weekend. (images: Channel 7/Getty Images)
Richmond star Liam Baker (pictured right) has opted to fight his tribunal ban after he cleared out Swans player Lewis Melican in the Tigers' win on the weekend. (images: Channel 7/Getty Images)

However, to the surprise of many in the AFL world, the Tigers and Baker are opting to fight the suspension. The shoulder was deemed careless and high, but the Tigers believe Baker may be able to get off the suspension and will head to the AFL tribunal on Tuesday.

And many AFL fans feel Baker will not get off the charge arguing the only reason it wasn't a bigger suspension was because Melican was able to get back to his feet after his teammates remonstrated with the Tigers utility. This prompted a strong reaction from fans after the Tigers announced they would fight the charge.

AFL 360 host Gerard Whately argued the contest from Baker was going to divide fans. “This is the classic action rather than the outcome," he said. “I felt like it would definitely be graded, definitely reportable, I wondered whether it would come back as a fine, but it goes to a suspension.”

Whately said Baker will be looking to argue two possibilities to escape the suspension. “Richmond has two options here. One is to try to beat it and plead not guilty, ‘did Baker make enough of an effort to contest the ball with the arm out to spoil?’, which makes it a free kick, an illegal collision," he added.

“But I don’t know if you can get from medium to low because there’s an inherent risk of causing injury in that action.” The tribunal will sit on Tuesday night to find out if Baker can play in their Gather Round clash with St Kilda at Norwood Oval on Sunday.

Liam Baker (pictured) is fighting his one game ban for this collisoin with Lewis Melican. (Getty Images)
Liam Baker (pictured) is fighting his one game ban for this collisoin with Lewis Melican. (Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Richmond reeling after Tom Lynch injury

Richmond were handed another blow with star forward Tom Lynch (hamstring) and fellow big man Noah Balta (knee) both injured in the close and gruelling clash against Sydney. But St Kilda are also dealing with their own suspension issues.

The club accepted a one-game ban for youngster Marcus Windhager for his high bump on Essendon's Sam Durham. The 20-year-old collected Durham high during the second quarter of the Bombers' four-point win at Marvel Stadium on Saturday. Windhager's collission was deemed careless, medium impact and high contact. He will miss the clash against the Tigers.