Josh Hunt stands on Eddie Betts' hand.
CARLTON coach Brett Ratten yesterday joined a chorus of discontent about the result of the Josh Hunt hand-stepping case. But the AFL will not be taking any further action.
Ratten echoed former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd's earlier doubts about the match review panel's decision to fine Hunt, rather than suspend him for stepping on the hand of Carlton's Eddie Betts last Friday night. ''What can you say? The decisions that are made [by the MRP], they go right down to grassroots footy,'' Ratten said.
''Are these the things that we want to see when we go and watch our kids play footy? They make the decisions. I just sit there, see what happens in the game and coach the team. It's not my decision to comment, but you wouldn't like to go to junior footy and see that happening.''
Josh Hunt was fined for stepping on Eddie Betts' hand. Photo: Joe Armao
Hunt yesterday accepted the MRP's offer of a $1350 fine. Under AFL rules, charges of misconduct are generally dealt with by fines.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou brushed off criticism of the penalty yesterday. ''The match review panel operates independently and that's their view and they are probably closer to it than I am,'' he said.
In his video explanation of the Hunt penalty, MRP chairman Mark Fraser said Hunt was not suspended because the act did not constitute stomping.
Geelong utility Paul Chapman said yesterday: ''He [Hunt] … had no idea that he'd done it, so he was a little bit surprised by the penalty. It didn't look great on camera, so he's stiff in some respects but also lucky in another. He'll just take his hit and move on and be better for it.''
In other MRP decisions yesterday, Melbourne's Luke Tapscott was offered a one-match suspension on a guilty plea for striking Collingwood's Alex Fasolo during the Queen's Birthday game at the MCG. Tapscott's strike was adjudged to be a level three offence.
Collingwood Brownlow medallist Dane Swan has been offered a reprimand with 45 carry-over points if he pleads guilty to tripping Melbourne's Sam Blease in Monday's game, while Magpie defender Nathan Brown escaped sanction despite breaking the nose of Melbourne's Colin Sylvia in an off-the-ball incident.
The MRP viewed the incident as an accidental head clash.
Essendon's Alwin Davey pleaded guilty and accepted a two-game ban for rough play against Sydney's Dan Hannebery, while Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne will miss one match for elbowing Richmond's Chris Newman.