Once again the AFL Match Review Panel is coming into the spotlight this week, and once again it is for a controversial decision that it has made. Melbourne’s Jack Trengove has been given a three-match suspension for a tackle on Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield that incidentally caused Dangerfield to suffer a concussion.
As you can see in the footage Dangerfield picks up the ball and attempts a kick while Trengove tackles him to the ground. Trengove pins one arm of Dangerfield and pulls him to the ground where Dangerfield incidentally hits his head, which causes the concussion. Just a second later Trengove does an almost identical tackle on Adelaide’s Brodie Smith with both of these incidents not being against the rules to result in the field umpires giving a free kick and yet only one of them was considered reportable simply for the fact that he was concussed unintentionally.
The AFL is trying to crack down on slinging tackles and tackles where players’ arms are pinned but the fact is that a fair majority of tackles in any given game could be classed as one of the two. The players who do these so-called ‘bad tackles’ are not intending to injure the player that they are tackling, instead they are just trying to perform a fair tackle on an opposition player. The fact that the medical report from Adelaide that noted the severity of the concussion had a huge sway on the MRP’s decision is irrelevant as this was clearly an accident that was unavoidable.
If they are suspending Trengove for this incident shouldn’t they have suspended Fremantle’s Luke McPharlin for his incidental knee to Brisbane’s Jonathon Brown which resulted in several facial fractures. The fact is neither of these incidents should be given a suspension since they were accidents and this is what the AFL needs to realise, accidents and incidental injuries should not be punished so severely, especially when the majority of the footballing community consider the Jack Trengove tackle to have been a fair part of the game. The AFL really needs to take a good hard look at some of the decisions being made to make sure that that clear accidental and incidental occurrences are not harshly punished like they have been in Trengove’s case.
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