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Low blow, says Archer


Martin Blake

Low blow: West Coast's Luke Shuey denies striking North's Lindsay Thomas in the groin.

Low blow: West Coast's Luke Shuey denies striking North's Lindsay Thomas in the groin.

NORTH Melbourne legend Glenn Archer says West Coast has broken the players' code by accusing Roos' forward Lindsay Thomas of staging as Eagles coach John Worsfold backed away from the controversial strategy yesterday, claiming he knew nothing of it.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has joined the Kangaroos in disapproval of the Eagles' actions.

Archer said he yearned for the times when players protected each other in front of the AFL's judiciary, adding that West Coast on-baller Luke Shuey could expect ''some heat'' next time the clubs faced off.

On Tuesday night, Shuey's advocate effectively tagged Thomas as a stager as the Eagle unsuccessfully fought a charge of elbowing Thomas in the genitals. Shuey, who has copped some criticism for simulation this year himself, lost the case and has been suspended for two matches over the Thomas incident last weekend.

North, which did not have Thomas at the tribunal hearing, was not impressed that its player was accused of wrongdoing, with football operations manager Donald McDonald saying it was ''not something we would do''.

Archer, the Shinboner of the Century, agreed. ''I think obviously Shuey's representative is doing everything in his power to get him off, but personally I think he went down the wrong line,'' Archer said.

''One thing with the tribunal that's disappointed me in the last five or six years is the old-school way of looking after your fellow player just doesn't seem to be there any more. At the end of the day, [as a player] you're all part of the same club. Whether it's the right thing or the wrong thing, I reckon every player should try to look after each other and a bit of 'what happens on the field, stays on the field' sort of thing.

''I've got no problem with advocates doing their best for the player they're representing, but you don't do that to the detriment of another player.''

Archer said Shuey had to take responsibility for the case that West Coast presented at the tribunal, during which Shuey's player advocate, David Grace, made several claims that Thomas had form as someone who feigned injury in order to win free kicks.

''He keeled over in front of the umpire in a way that suggested he was either winded or in pain,'' Grace told the tribunal. ''Within 10 seconds of this incident he's sprinting and showing absolutely no signs of a blow to the groin.''

Worsfold denied responsibility for Shuey's legal defence yesterday. ''That was our defensive counsel. So if you want to argue with him, take it up and he'll take it on,'' he said.

''I honestly don't know what the argument was that we went in [with] to try to get Luke off.''

But on a day when Kangaroos chairman James Brayshaw declined to comment, Archer said Shuey and his club should never have allowed such a line of argument to be made at the tribunal.

''As a player, he knows what evidence is going to be given. He probably should have stood up and said,

'Let's not go down that track'. It's a fraternity thing. You're all part of it.''

Asked if the situation would cause ill-feeling in the future, Archer said: ''Absolutely. It's human nature. The next time they [Kangaroos] come up against West Coast and Shuey, there's going to be some heat on him.''

Some at North were unimpressed with the Eagles, and Kangaroos officials went so far as to bring Thomas in for a meeting to make sure the player knew the club was behind him.

''We had a chat this morning,'' said McDonald. ''He's got no worries about it. Look, it's been highlighted now, so the main thing is that it doesn't impact on the way he goes about Friday night [against Carlton].

''Lindsay's a very energetic, passionate footballer and he throws himself around and we want him to keep doing that.''

McDonald said Thomas was not a stager. ''He attacks the footy how Brad [Scott] wants him to. He [Scott] is the only one he listens to.''

The Roos did not take up the issue with West Coast.

''We've just got to worry about what we're doing,'' said McDonald.

''Other clubs are going to do what they feel will get them to where they want to be.

''The number one thing for us is to look after the player, and that's where our energies are going.

''Lindsay's faced some hurdles this year and he's been outstanding the way he's worked through them.''

93 comments so far

  • Mr Archer, where were your comments about 'What happens on the ground stays on the ground' earlier this year when the Roos Coach was accusing players of staging or playing for free kicks for head high tackles.

    Shuey had every right to accuse Thomas of diving as his over exaggeration has cost him playing the next 2 games.

    Now Archer talks
    Date and time
    July 12, 2012, 8:39AM
    • I think the MRP system is severely flawed, but the character assassination of Thomas is ridiculous - he was clearly elbowed by Shuey.

      To all the West Coast fans accusing Thomas of staging I recommend reviewing Jack Darling being tackled round the chest by Heath Scotland and going down like he was shot. That was the worst example of staging I have ever seen, but did the MRP do anything about it?

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 10:17AM
    • I think it's hilarious the Eagles accusing others of staging. Obviously they don't have the intelligence to grasp the concepts of irony or hypocrisy. These guys are the biggest stagers of all - Leroy Jetta would struggle to keep up with the likes of Darling, Shuey, Ham et al. In fact I'm surprised the latter hasn't damaged his neck he throws back his head so hard and so often. Sad thing is the umps fall for it, with the Eagles winning yet another game through poor officiating.

      Darwin Heat
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:01AM
    • @Lachie
      I think you'll find that the MRP loked into the Darling case of staging and found there was a legitimate (biomechanical) reason for his head going back the way it did. If you look closely at the replay from a different angle it can be seen.Whether or not it was accentuated...

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:01AM
    • What a sad joke Glenn Archer has become. Essentially he is saying that players should cheat and be allowed to get away with it.
      The issue isn't about whether Eagles players stage, or poor umpiring won them the game - that's sour grapes. The fact is staging happens in every match and it is a blight on our game. Ever since a certain full forward turned it into an art form players having diving left and right to win free kicks. It's disappointing to see it invading our game and pretty soon there will soccer style dives happening everywhere if it is allowed to go on.
      Fact is Thomas has got a history of staging for free kicks - many players do. If Glenn Archer is proud of that and thinks it is ok, then I think many of the assumptions people have made about him are dead wrong.
      The MRP needs to crack down hard on the stagers to remove this blight from our game before it takes hold. Don't just give them a slap on the wrist, give them weeks on the sidelines and see how quickly it stops.

      Right here, right now
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:22AM
    • Back in to your cave Mr Archer. That is a very dangerous attitude and has no place in 2012. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:30AM
    • Thomas' staging cost Shuey 1 game. Shuey elbowed him, Thomas pretended to get hit in the groin, then moments later sprinted off like nothing had happened. The umpire who witnessed it saw Thomas' dive for what it was, but the MRP did not. Shuey got offered 3 weeks for intentional groin contact, or 2 weeks for an early plea.

      He argued at the tribunal that Thomas was staging and there was no groin contact, the tribunal agreed, but the reduction to 2 weeks was cancelled out by the fact that he never had the chance to make an early plea to the correct charge (should have been 1 week for an early plea under the correct charge of intentional body contact).

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:32AM
    • @ Darwin... LOL have another bitter pill... hahahahahaha

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:42AM
    • The Eagles spend so much time diving that doing "The Limbo" is the biggest component of their fitness program.
      Just look at Selwood.

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:51AM
    • 'Peter', it is do-gooders like yourself who should be ashamed of yourself. It is a MAN'S game with a MAN'S code, stop trying to bring modern PC thinking into a man's domain. Perhaps find yourself another sport to nit pick.

      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 12:46PM

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