Reigning Brownlow Medallist and Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield could have a case to answer with the Match Review Panel during the week.
Dangerfield tackled Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer on Saturday night, which saw the ruckman hit his head to the ground and subsequently be concussed, taking no further part in the Blues’ 65-point loss to the Cats.
Coons: Given the precedent set, Patrick Dangerfield needs to get a week. They can't go any other way.
— 1116 SEN Footy (@SENfooty) July 30, 2017
Geelong’s impressive thrashing of the Baby Blues has been overshadowed by this tackle, and by the fact Dangerfield is on the verge of going back to back in the Brownlow. If he does, it will be the first time this has happened since Saints champion Robert Harvey in 1997 and 1998.
Dangerfield told Channel Seven’s AFL Gameday on Sunday morning, “I actually thought he still had the ball, so that’s why I put my hands in the air.”
“I haven’t been cited for anything, I felt it was a fair tackle. There was no umpire’s call at the time, I don’t see an issue with it, but it’s not up to me.”
— AFL Game Day (@7aflgameday) July 30, 2017
It looked to be a fair tackle from watching it on Saturday night. But if the MRP does send this case straight to the tribunal, Richmond will have another Brownlow medallist in their ranks in Dustin Martin.
In my eyes, the Match Review Panel and tribunal don’t have the best form this year. Let’s look at the Bachar Houli case from earlier this year, when he knocked out Carlton’s Jed Lamb.
— The AFL Footy Show (@AFLFootyShow) July 1, 2017
Houli initially got two weeks, which was grossly inadequate. He was given character references by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and controversial TV personality Waleed Aly. This is why the AFL had no choice but to appeal the tribunal’s decision, eventually getting the fair amount which was four weeks out.
The tribunal and MRP need to think laterally with the Dangerfield tackle. There seems to be no forceful or negligent contact in the tackle, nor did Dangerfield actually sling Kreuzer to the ground. At worst, it should have been a push in the back free kick to the big Blue.
If this ‘sling tackle’ does see the Geelong champion get suspended, you might as well not have Brownlow Medal night the Monday before the grand final, just head to Punt Road and give it to Martin.
Dustin Martin was in trouble earlier this season for what looked like a strike on Brisbane’s Nick Robertson, which was dubbed a ‘provoked’ reaction by Tigers coach Damien Hardwick. If you strike a player, you deserve to get suspended, and Martin should already be ineligible to win Charlie in 2017.
We will soon find out the fate of Patty Dangerfield during the week, and if he does have a case to answer to first the MRP, and then eventually the tribunal. Let’s hope Dangerfield has a decent character reference ready if he does front the tribunal mid-week.