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AFL world left fuming over 'farcical' suspension calls: 'How on earth'

AFL great Dermott Brereton has led the outrage after contentious incidents in round four.

AFL great Dermott Brereton was left baffled by the MRP's rulings on two particular tackles in round four. Pic: Fox Footy
AFL great Dermott Brereton was left baffled by the MRP's rulings on two particular tackles in round four. Pic: Fox Footy

Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton has hit out at the AFL Match Review Panel after the suspensions handed down to Hawks star Will Day and Geelong’s Gary Rohan. Both players were charged with dangerous tackles from the same game, in incidents that were fairly similar in nature.

However, Day received a two-match ban for a sling tackle (careless conduct, high impact, high contact) on Geelong's Brad Close, while Cats forward Rohan copped a one-match suspension for his dangerous tackle (careless conduct, medium impact, high contact) on Hawk Changkuoth Jiath. In both instances, the opposition player's head made contact with the turf as a result of the tackle.

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Neither Close or Jiath were injured as a result of the tackles, although Day's was graded as high impact and Rohan's was deemed only medium impact. That ruling left Brereton puzzled, with the AFL great arguing that Rohan's was actually the worse of the two tackles. Brereton insisted that the slinging nature of the Rohan tackle was more dangerous to the opposition player than the dumping nature of Day's, with AFL fans baffled by the contrasting bans for both players.

“He (Day) takes him down, there’s no sling there. It does look violent, the end bit of it, but he just takes him straight to ground,” Brereton said on AFL 360. “I don’t think either are intended to injure the opposition.

"The second one (Day), and people’ll say ‘ooh Hawthorn and Geelong (the rivalry)’, I couldn’t give a fat rat’s (about the teams involved). I just thought with the Rohan one, he (Jiath) got slung 270 degrees. The other one, he (Close) just went face-first. Pulled down hard. There was no sling in it.

“Is it dangerous? Probably is, so it’s a hard determination but I can’t understand how one’s worth two (weeks) - which I thought was the lesser (and one’s worth one).”

Several incidents in round 4 of the AFL under the microscope

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley indicated that Geelong's medical report could have been a decisive factor in the differing gradings of the tackles. “We have moved across a threshold, which is good for the game - we are judging the action not the outcome,” he said.

“That (Rohan tackle) action is no good, we have to rid the game of that, that’s a week. I think Hawthorn are obliged to go to the Tribunal and see (with Day). I’m comfortable though that the action is reportable and that’s process for the game.”

Elsewhere, Hawthorn ruck Lloyd Meek can accept a $2000 fine for kneeing Geelong's Mark Blicavs in a ruck contest during the same game. The incident left Cats coach Chris Scott fuming, with the veteran mentor calling on the AFL to stamp out the use of knees at the ruck.

Meantime, Richmond star Tom Lynch's rough conduct charge on Alex Keath was thrown out at the AFL tribunal, while Carlton's Harry McKay can face Adelaide after his one-match striking ban was downgraded to a fine. Lynch was facing at least a three-week ban for his crunching aerial contact that concussed Western Bulldogs defender Keath on Saturday.

Seen here, Richmond's Tom Lynch on the bench during the round 4 match against the Western Bulldogs in the AFL.
Richmond's Tom Lynch is seen on the bench during the round 4 match against the Western Bulldogs in the AFL. Pic: Getty (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The action was graded careless conduct, high contact and severe impact and sent directly to the tribunal, with the Tigers successfully arguing that it wasn't high and Lynch didn't bump Keath, who will miss one-two games with concussion. Lynch was already set for at least two months on the sidelines after suffering a broken foot in Saturday's five-point loss, but being cleared will help his record.

McKay's hit on Sheezel on Good Friday was originally judged as careless, medium impact and high contact. After close to 50 minutes of deliberation, the panel upheld the striking charge but ruled McKay's "last-minute reduction in force" to minimise impact meant it didn't have "real potential for a head injury" and therefore should be graded low.

with AAP

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