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Brad Scott chides rivals over charging of Viney

Melbourne's Jack Viney (number 7) collides with Tom Lynch and Alex Georgiou.

Melbourne's Jack Viney (number 7) collides with Tom Lynch and Alex Georgiou. Photo: afl.com.au/Fox Footy

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott does not want Jack Viney suspended over the collision that broke the jaw of Adelaide's Tom Lynch, but reckons the majority of AFL clubs will be culpable if he is.

The incident occurred early in Saturday's match at the Adelaide Oval between the Crows and Demons. Forward Lynch was leading his opponent Alex Georgiou to centre half-forward and gained possession just before Viney, who was coming from the opposite direction.

The Demons' second-year midfielder braced for the impact and made contact with his shoulder to Lynch's neck. This was followed by a forceful head clash between Lynch and Georgiou, who was tackling him from behind.

Lindsay Thomas cleans up Ben Reid well off the ball, March 31, 2013.

Lindsay Thomas cleans up Ben Reid well off the ball, March 31, 2013. Photo: Fox Footy

Lynch had to be substituted. He is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.

Scott, asked for his opinion on the match review panel's referring of Viney to the tribunal, said: "What I think they'll do and what I hope they'll do are probably two different things."

"I don't think Jack had time to make a decision to make a decision to tackle. He wasn't in possession of the ball, Lynch, so he really couldn't tackle him. It was a really split-second decision," the Kangaroos coach told Footy Classified.

Scott argued that Viney was now in danger of suspension because of one of his players, Lindsay Thomas, escaped suspension at the start of 2013.

In last year's opening round Thomas delivered a hefty off-the-ball bump to Collingwood's Ben Reid that forced the taller key defender from the ground with a bloodied face - not from the bump itself but from the resulting clash of heads. It was for that reason that Thomas was spared suspension, triggering angst not only from Magpies coach Nathan Buckley but also the AFL.

In December the AFL's football operations chief Mark Evans announced, following a consultation period with clubs, its rules had been amended to allow players to be charged with rough conduct for bumps where the impact is caused by a head clash.

"The 2014 guidelines will reinforce to players their duty of care when they elect to bump an opponent, and that a clash of heads is an action that could reasonably be foreseen," the AFL announced.

Scott blamed that change not only on the investigation of Viney but also on the recent rough-conduct suspensions imposed on Fremantle's Nat Fyfe and Adelaide's Richard Douglas. The suspension of Fyfe, which involved a head clash between him and Gold Coast's Michael Rischitelli, was particularly contentious.

"All clubs had the opportunity to answer this question pre season, [relating to] last year when Lindsay Thomas wasn't suspended for a bump on Ben Reid. Eight-five per cent of clubs said he should have been, because he should have been responsible for that action," Scott said.

"The Fyfe decision, the Viney decision, probably the Douglas decision, is a result of that feedback from clubs.

"I certainly didn't agree with the rule change."

Melbourne has confirmed Viney will plead not guilty to the charge at the tribunal on Tuesday evening.

11 comments so far

  • Unfortunately for Viney, the AFL will look incredibly stupid if they let Viney off and gave Nat Fyfe 2 weeks for a far lesser impact arguably less intentional and less negligent. I feel someone at the MRP and tribunal was a little too eager to 'try out the new toy' during the Fyfe decision.

    Commenter
    Even Stephen
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    May 06, 2014, 1:46PM
    • Yeah Brad Scott was asked and he answered. Interesting that he is always very interested in making comment on subjects of conjecture when the spotlight needs to be moved off himself and the poor North performance.

      Commenter
      JP
      Location
      Bendigo
      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 2:11PM
      • I'm pretty confident he'd be happy to talk to anyone regarding their questions about North Melbourne.

        Commenter
        Luke
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 2:29PM
      • Was he asked any questions about North Melbourne? Ever known either of the Scott brothers to shirk anything? Drongo.

        Commenter
        fred
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 3:26PM
      • Chris Scott also conveniently omits that the ball was not in dispute when Thomas initiated contact with Reid, who was watching the ball roll over the boundary line at the time.

        Commenter
        Lobo Gris
        Location
        Hawthorn
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 4:02PM
    • You only get off if you play for Collingwood ala sniper Maxwell.

      Commenter
      Bobo
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 2:51PM
      • There's always one bitter blue hey bobo

        Commenter
        Genghis
        Location
        Lounge
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 5:25PM
    • The outcome will be purely a PR exercise for the AFL rather than an appropriate punishment. Viney has clearly done nothing wrong and the head clash that caused the injury wasn't even Viney's head. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good PR exercise for the AFL. "Our game is not dangerous and we throw the book at anyone who causes an injury, albeit indirectly and / or unintentionally". Does anyone seriously think that any coach would instruct their player not to do what Viney did in that situation? Sometimes injuries just occur because it's a contact game. There must be some recognition of this fact rather than always having to find someone to blame. Or do you just take bumping out altogether? Oh dear.

      Commenter
      Jimbo
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 2:51PM
      • Big difference between the Thomas bump and Viney's. Thomas elected to bump and Reid was not in immediate vicinity of the ball.

        Arguably, Viney had no choice but to bump the amount of time to make a decision to tackle and execute it was not available as until just prior to the impact he was playing the ball. Therefore if he did not elect to bump then the contact was accidental.

        Commenter
        J
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 3:42PM
        • If the AFL wish to ban the bump, then it should do so. However it is ridiculous (able to be held up to ridicule) to ban a player for effecting a bump, which is legal, should the player he bumped get hurt. Players should only be suspended for striking each other; misconduct; etc, not for doing something which is within the rules of the game.

          The AFL should also get rid of the offense of "rough conduct". The game is inherently rough, in case they haven't noticed. Have an offense for unduly rough play, as there used to be, by all means, but to be cited for "rough conduct" in a game of Australian rules football is complete nonsense.

          Commenter
          commom sense
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          May 06, 2014, 3:46PM

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