A shocking elbow from GWS star Jeremy Cameron that knocked out Brisbane’s Harris Andrews has sparked calls for the AFL to introduce red cards.
Brisbane might have been cruelled by the loss of Andrews but coach Chris Fagan doesn’t believe Cameron’s ugly hit on him should lead to the introduction of send-offs in the AFL.
The Lions had to play out most of Saturday’s clash against GWS without Andrews, their vice-captain and key defender, after he was knocked out cold by an elbow from star forward Cameron.
The incident is likely to lead to a lengthy suspension for Cameron, who already had a poor tribunal record – but unlike Andrews, he was able to play out the match.
Cameron proved crucial to the Giants’ cause in the end, kicking three goals as they prevailed by 27 points.
The Lions, meanwhile, were left with only three players on the bench and Fagan said he was forced to move Josh Walker from the forward line into defence to compensate.
That, in turn, allowed GWS to take a number of key marks in Brisbane’s forward 50 during the second quarter, when the visitors eked out what proved a winning edge.
Social media lit up with calls for the AFL to introduce red cards to punish players like Cameron for such occurrences of foul play.
Do we need a red card? Answer would almost always be a firm no. But this incident could cost Brisbane the match. Andrews on a stretcher and Cameron free to kick a bag. What if it was a Grand Final? #AFLLionsGIANTS pic.twitter.com/b87cTVPG5j
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) June 23, 2018
A strong case for a red card in AFL. Why should Cameron get to play out the game after a taking out deliberate hit job on his direct opponent? Regardless, hope he gets well over a month for that. Appalling. #AFLLionsGiants
— Tom Crowley (@TomCrowley96) June 23, 2018
This is where a red card system is necessary. He’s going to be suspended for so many weeks for taking out our best players and now has given them the lead #gethimoff
— WENDY (@AFLmusic) June 23, 2018
However, it proved a divisive debate among supporters with an overwhelming section of supporters vehemently against the idea.
My issue with a red card system in AFL is it's another grey area where umpires need to make an on the spot decision.
The less grey exists in our game, the better.
Imagine it in a Grand Final. #AFLLionsGiants
— Nic Negrepontis (@NicNegrepontis) June 23, 2018
The idea of a red card is solid. Until you think of the goal review. And the MRO. And the tribunal. And umpiring in general. Hard to believe they’d get that right on the day given that track record.
— John Clark (@JohnnyClark83) June 23, 2018
Can’t have red card. It’ would see blokes getting carded for accidental collisions, where one player comes off worse than the other. Would be more inconsistent than MRO/Video review etc
— Warren Football (@warren_football) June 23, 2018
While Fagan admits there is an injustice about what happened, he isn’t about to petition for change.
“It comes up, doesn’t it? It’s so hard for the AFL though to decide on that,” he said.
“If an umpire makes a mistake and a big final’s lost because of it and the player goes to the match review panel and (finds) there’s nothing much in it, it’s a real tough issue.
“I know it hurt us tonight, and if Cameron is rubbed out, the teams (GWS) plays down the track will be the beneficiary of the fact that he’s not playing and we weren’t tonight.
“I reckon you could argue for and against that over a beer for 10 hours … (but) I don’t think we need a red card system.”