Roos fumes as Higgins hit goes unpunished

AFL great Paul Roos is unimpressed Ryan Burton escaped sanction for his sickening collision with Shaun Higgins.

The bump is a hot AFL issue again, with sharply-divided opinion over whether Burton should have faced suspension or not.

While there is some sympathy for Burton, there were also calls for greater clarity around the subject.

Match reviewer Michael Christian cleared the Hawthorn defender for the incident in Sunday's win over North Melbourne.

Burton bumped Higgins and accidentally collected his head, knocking him out.

Higgins needed surgery on Monday for a badly-split lip.

"Contact was made from Burton's shoulder to the chest of Higgins," Christian said.

Higgins had to taken from the field on a medicab. Image: Getty

"I think it's really important to understand that he took reasonable care to execute the bump fairly.

"He couldn't reasonably foresee that there was going to be an accidental clash of heads.

"It was unfortunate for Higgins, but I just want to emphasise that when we're assessing incidents we look at the conduct first and foremost."

But commentator Roos was not happy.

"This was a real opportunity to clear up this issue ... he (Christian) has made a blue," Roos said on Fox Footy's On The Couch.

"There's clearly an opportunity for him to tackle."

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson and Geelong counterpart Chris Scott were unsure whether it was right to clear Burton.

"If we're fair dinkum about trying to stamp out concussion in our game, and you have alternative, I think it's something as an industry we have to look at," Richardson told AFL360.

"There's a bit in that one."

Scott noted down-the-ground footage showed Burton running from a long way to execute the bump.

"(He) had plenty of time to sum up what he was going to do," Scott said.

"Shaun held onto the ball a bit longer than expected, but in retrospect even Burton would be saying 'why didn't I just tackle him?'

"If you can tackle, you should tackle ... the bump is just not worth it."

But Melbourne veteran Jordan Lewis was sympathetic to Burton.

"Accidents happen - the intent wasn't to harm him, hit him high or knock him out," he said.

"I am fine with that not being reported."

North coach Brad Scott had no problems with Burton being cleared, but also prefers that his players tackle rather than bump.

"If you bump and it goes wrong, there's a serious chance you're in trouble," he said.

"From my perspective, there was no malice in that act whatsoever.

"Shaun and the Higgins family don't feel aggrieved, we don't feel aggrieved, so I'm not concerned or angry at the outcome.

"But I think some clarity would help.".