West Coast forward Mark LeCras can escape with a one-game ban for his high bump on GWS player Will Hoskin-Elliott.
Last week the AFL was being too strict on the bump – now it will come under fire for not being tough enough.
Five match review panel verdicts handed down on Monday were sure to fuel the emotional debate about head-high contact.
West Coast forward Mark LeCras can escape with a one-match suspension for his heavy bump on Greater Western Sydney’s Will Hoskin-Elliott.
Western Bulldogs key forward Liam Jones was handed a three-match ban for rough conduct against Melbourne’s Dean Terlich, but an early plea will reduce that punishment to two.
Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead is facing a one-game suspension for his high contact with Sydney midfielder Ben McGlynn and Fremantle utility Paul Duffield can take a reprimand for rough conduct against Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard.
Essendon veteran Paul Chapman was cleared of his high bump on Brisbane’s Jack Redden – although a separate striking charge against Dayne Zorko is set to cost him a one-week suspension.
Rounding out a busy day for the match review panel, Brisbane defender Matt Maguire is facing a one-game suspension for tripping Joe Daniher.
But a week after Jack Viney’s landmark case was referred directly to the AFL tribunal, the bump remains a major bone of contention in the AFL.
The tribunal sparked widespread commentary when it handed Viney a two-game suspension, with the Melbourne midfielder later cleared on appeal.
As if there had not been enough focus on the bumping issue, there were an unusually-high number of head-high blows over the weekend that were obvious candidates for match review panel scrutiny.
In any era, LeCras’ rough bump on Hoskin-Elliott would have meant a suspension.
But he did not receive a harsher penalty because of a good tribunal record and the fact that Hoskin-Elliott was somehow not seriously hurt.
One of the key factors in the Viney case was that the contact left Adelaide’s Tom Lynch with a broken jaw.
Hoskin-Elliott played out Sunday’s game.
Duffield also has a good tribunal record, meaning his one-match ban is reduced to a reprimand regardless of how he pleads.
So the Dockers are not risking any extra punishment if they want to take the case to the tribunal.
By contrast, Roughead has demerit points and they increase his punishment from one to two games.
An early plea takes the sanction back to one game.
Similarly, Chapman’s carryover points mean his suspension is one game whether he accepts the charge or not.
Maguire’s carryover points increase his penalty from a reprimand to the one-game ban, while Jones has no existing good or bad record.