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Jack Viney case too hard to grade by video: MRP

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

Melbourne's Jack Viney (middle, number 7) collides with Tom Lynch and Alex Georgiou. Photo: Footy

Jack Viney was referred directly to the tribunal over a collision that broke an opponent's jaw because the match review panel found it "exceedingly difficult" to determine a penalty for him, if any at all.

Match review panel member Joel Bowden said that when he and his fellow panellists – chairman Mark Fraser and former racing steward Des Gleeson complete the panel – attempted to grade the offence of rough conduct by the second-year Melbourne player against Adelaide's Tom Lynch, they struggled to make any progress.

Bowden said the decision to refer the incident to the tribunal, for a hearing on Tuesday evening, was very different to when it sent Adelaide's Richard Douglas to the tribunal for an off-the-ball bump a fortnight ago, when it queried the severity of the formulaic penalty that Douglas would have attracted.

Brett Deledio and Joel Selwood battle for possession on Sunday.

Brett Deledio and Joel Selwood battle for possession on Sunday. Photo: Pat Scala

"We decided very quickly, unlike the Callan Ward and Richard Douglas case. In that we took a long, long time to try and grade and then sent it to the tribunal. That example probably helped us, in that we were very quick to say, 'Well, this is really, really difficult'. And we only get to look at the vision, and we don't get an account from the player and can't understand what he was thinking," Bowden said.

"There is a lot of debate, and in sending it straight to the tribunal the match review panel is not necessarily judging guilt or innocence in this. What we want is a thorough examination of the evidence to be heard by a jury."

Former Tiger Bowden said he hoped the tribunal jury, comprising retired players Wayne Henwood, Wayne Schimmelbusch and Emmett Dunne, would come to a verdict "that is transparent, that the public can understand".

"Then, there'll be more clarity around bumps, head contact and the like," Bowden said.

The incident with Viney that also involved a head clash between Lynch and his tackler, Melbourne's Alex Georgiou, left the Crows forward with a broken jaw that will sideline him for at least a month.

The panel can ask the tribunal to adjudicate incidents if it believes the resulting penalty from its formula for determining penalties would be inappropriate.

Had Viney been charged with negligent conduct, high contact and severe impact – likely due to Lynch's injury – he would have faced a 425-point penalty, which could have been cut to three matches and 18.75 carry-over points with a guilty plea.

Viney will be joined at the tribunal by Brett Deledio, following the Richmond midfielder's decision to challenge a one-match ban for striking.

Deledio was charged over an incident at the weekend in which he appeared to clip the throat of Geelong's Mathew Stokes with his elbow, which triggered a scuffle between both players and their teammates. This included Stokes being charged over a subsequent blow to Richmond's Steve Morris.

Deledio is not risking an additional ban by challenging the decision at the tribunal because his good record dragged the penalty below the initial two-match level. The Tigers vice-captain could have accepted a one-match and 26.56 carry-over points but will accrue 68.75 points if his tribunal bid fails, assuming he pleads not guilty rather than accepting a lesser charge.

Geelong's Stokes accepted a one-match ban for striking, while Brisbane's Luke McGuane and Fremantle's David Mundy accepted reprimands for, respectively, striking and rough conduct.


Jack Viney (Melb) rough conduct to Tom Lynch (Adel). No classification made by panel.

Brett Deledio (Rich) striking Mathew Stokes (Geel). Intentional, low impact, high contact. 225 points down due to good record to 168.75 (1 match).

Penalties accepted:

Luke McGuane (BL) striking Jeremy Laidler (Syd). Reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points.

Mathew Stokes (Geel) striking Steve Morris (Rich). One match and 68.75 carry-over points.

David Mundy (Fre) rough conduct to Scott Selwood (WC). Reprimand and 70.31 carry-over points.

4 comments so far

  • So all the old footy hacks are up in arms about Viney being referred to the tribunal. Suddenly they have woken up just because it's a Melbourne player. Well it's a bit late. They should have spoken up when Nathan Fyfe got charged for an accidental head clash because that set a precedent. Because of the damage done to the Adelaide player I can see him getting more than just two weeks simply to be consistent.

    Date and time
    May 06, 2014, 12:16PM
    • AFL players can't have it both ways. On the one hand seeking compensation and the leagues liability over brain damage caused by concussion, and then on the other; lamenting and protesting against the 'softening' of the game whenever a bump leads to head-high contact.

      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 2:15PM
      • Fully agree, Phil. MRP aren't really concerned with consistency and they tend to err on the side of guilty with Freo. Remember Crowley? Boomer's good word was enough to get Crowley booked & found guilty - with no evidence at all. MRP make themselves look ridiculous - regularly.

        Freo Boy in Melbs
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 5:16PM
        • What does every AFL Footballer instinctively do to protect himself if he has that split second.........
          And not much else.

          Date and time
          May 06, 2014, 6:10PM

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