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North to challenge Thomas ban


Jesse Hogan

The AFL's intent to prevent players sliding into contests is set to sideline a player for the second consecutive week. 

North Melbourne will challenge small forward Lindsay Thomas' offer of a three-match suspension for rough conduct over the incident in which Sydney's Gary Rohan had his leg broken yesterday.

While the incident received the most lenient gradings for intent and where contact was made, the impact made by Thomas was deemed to be severe.

Swans champion Adam Goodes had been due to play in that match too - and break the club's all-time games record - but was banned for one match for sliding into Port Adelaide's Jacob Surjan during a battle for possession in round three. Goodes fought the match review panel verdict at the tribunal but lost.

Geelong forward Steve Johnson may miss this weekend's match at Brisbane after being booked for two separate incidents against Richmond, for rough conduct against Chris Newman and tripping Daniel Jackson. Even if he accepts both charges the combined penalty will still be above the one-match threshold.

Cats ruckman Trent West can also accept a reprimand for rough conduct against Ty Vickery.

St Kilda key forward Justin Koschtizke has been offered a one-match suspension for striking his former teammate Zac Dawson, now of Fremantle.

GWS' Chad Cornes and Adelaide's Matthew Jaensch can accept reduced fines, $1800 and $900 respectively, for wrestling.

Cornes was spared a forceful front-on contact charge against Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield, as was Essendon's Sam Lonergan for his tackle on Andrew Carrazzo that resulted in a broken shoulder blade for the Carlton midfielder.

11 comments so far

  • Do you know your videos are not playing? It's happened with 2 videos. The ad plays fine but then the videos are not playing.

    mal function
    Date and time
    April 23, 2012, 6:07PM
    • If the AFL can ban a player who has his eyes on the ball the whole time, gets to the ball first and wins the ball because another player gets there second and collides with him and hurts himself, I'll finally agree with the headless chooks who like to scream about netball every time a player is cited.

      The MRP usually uses the words "Player X had no alternative way to contest the ball" for situations like this. What are they suggesting Lindsay Thomas' alternative way to contest this ball was, reach out for it with a stick?

      The appeal must succeed, but it's a black mark for the MRP that it even went this far.

      Date and time
      April 23, 2012, 9:04PM
      • This is a ridiculous decision. If the swans player hadn't been hurt there would be nothing more said or done. What's a player to do, say to the opponent "you just take the ball, my coach won't mind".

        gold coast
        Date and time
        April 24, 2012, 6:51AM
    • My problem with the way the MRP words these things is what happens when you take it to it's logical conclusion. It seems to suggest that the player should consider not contesting the ball. That simply isn't acceptable in competitive contact sport is it?

      Knighter's Revenge
      Date and time
      April 23, 2012, 10:22PM
      • How ridiculous. We are going to have a sport where players are too frightened to attack the man or the ball. They can't go too hard for the ball because if they go to ground on their way there they get cited by the MRP. They can't take possession of the ball in traffic because they will get pinged. They can't lay a tackle because the tackled player (yes, Selwoods, I'm talking about you) will get a free for a high. They can't bump a player or they will get cited by the MRP. They may get cited for a sling tackle if they neglect to put a pillow down for the player's head (I don't really know why some tackles are cited and others aren't tbh.)

        I'm starting to wonder if anyone who makes these interpretations has ever played any sport at all. The game moves very very very fast, whether its tennis, footy or kickboxing. You simply don't have time to weigh up all the potential outcomes of an action.

        Nothing should be a free kick or reported unless it was clearly malicious or exceptionally reckless. The players themselves know and accept the risks when they cross the white line. It's a shame the officials can't do the same.

        The Fence
        Date and time
        April 23, 2012, 10:38PM
        • This is the second howler from the MRP this season. Any objective analysis would conclude the following:

          Thomas had eyes only for the ball
          Thomas reached the ball before he contacted Rohan
          The action of Thomas was neither reckless nor careless
          There was no intent to make contact other than with the ball

          The only conclusion that a player could reach from the laying of this charge, is that whenever a serious injury occurs, someone must be blamed.
          Following this incident, and the booking of Whitecross for the contact with Joel Selwood in round 2, the MRP have lost the confidence of the football public, and I suspect the players and clubs.
          Time for a new broom

          Date and time
          April 23, 2012, 10:40PM
          • I agree whole-heartedly with Arky. The decision to cite Thomas in the first place was a shocker and giving him weeks an absolute disgrace. Anyone with half a football brain that has watched the slow-motion replays of the incident will know that Thomas has to get off on appeal. So how does this reflect on the MRP? I don't know who they are in 2012 but hopefully they won't be invited back to participate in 2013. Any more ridiculous decisions like this one and the AFL will have lost me.

            Date and time
            April 23, 2012, 11:10PM
            • arky, agreed (i will declare i am a north supporter). He received 1 point for negligent contact (his eyes were firmly on the ball, and making a contest, impact was high (if you look closely, Rohan's leg appears to break before the contact), and contact was made with the body (umm, last time i looked it was a contact sport). He's a player we could easily cover,but it is the principle of the matter. I feel for Rohan, nasty break

              Date and time
              April 23, 2012, 11:23PM
              • Agree - this charge makes no sense and (not for the first time) calls into question the MRP system.

                I was at the game sitting about 50 metres ahead of the play when this incident occurred with a clear view of it. There was absolutely nothing in it and not one person in the crowd thought Thomas had done anything wrong. But clearly the armchair experts with their slo-mo replays know better than us.

                Thomas was competing for the ball fairly (as Arky notes its clear he has his eyes on the ball) and his only mistake was trying to change direction in his pursuit of the ball. That's why he ends up slipping into Rohan.

                I am a Swans fan and I think Thomas is a twit (who seriously wants to punch on with Barry Hall?). But what good purpose is served by this charge and a three match ban for a player going about his business in a totally reasonable and predictable manner?

                The Richards report wasn't much better but I suppose in that case the MRP will argue he could have chosen to keep his elbow down while attempting to spoil.

                Date and time
                April 24, 2012, 12:14AM
                • Will people please stop comparing this incident with the Goodes one. They are totally different. Goodes was second to the contest and slid in knees first and made contact with his opponent. Thomas was first to the contest, placed his body between the ball and the oncoming opponent and very unfortunately made contact with him. Thomas actually touches the ball with his hand, something Goodes never even comes close to doing. Thomas must get off.

                  Cyber Space
                  Date and time
                  April 24, 2012, 7:35AM

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