Tuesday 17 May 2005


Noticed how we're copping it hard at the tribunal this year? I can't remember the last time we had so many suspensions at this point of the season. Already this season we've had,

* Brent Moloney - a dubious 2 weeks for a bump where the injury was caused by the turf;
* Brad Miller - 2 weeks after his season long campaign to get rubbed out finally paid dividends;
* A shitload of fines for wrestling.

And now this,

The 2004 NAB Rising Star, Melbourne defender Jared Rivers, has been handed a two-match suspension by the AFL's match review panel in the aftermath of Saturday's fiery MCG clash against Hawthorn, which has netted the league more than $10,000 in wrestling and melee fines.

Rivers was charged with striking Hawk Ben Dixon during the fourth quarter of the Demons' 39-point loss on Saturday with the incident being assessed as reckless conduct (two points), low impact (one point), behind play (two points) and high contact (two points) for a total of seven activation points.

This equates to a level three offence of 325 demerit points and a three-match suspension but an early plea would reduce the penalty by 25 per cent to 243.75 points, resulting in a two-match ban.

With Melbourne enforcer Brad Miller to miss another week through suspension and skipper David Neitz and star midfielder Cameron Bruce both under an injury cloud, the Demons can ill-afford to lose Rivers for their upcoming clash with the Carlton, as he would have been a likely opponent for Blues spearhead Brendan Fevola.

The AFL has also fined six players a total of $10,500 over seven wrestling and melee charges from the same match.

So now with our season rapidly failing apart we will now face Carlton without our FF, CHF or CHB. And for what? Does anyone in the league think we're a harder team for all this? I'm understanding of the "flying the flag" macho competitive bullshit aspect of having to punch on behind play - and who amongst us can say they've never thrown one on a sporting field? - but in a professional sport where it is likely to achieve NOTHING then you've got to question it. A reckless bump or shirtfront is one thing but with the new tribunal system you can't just belt each other behind play anymore. And now we run the risk of not only being molested by the small forwards of both Carlton and Richmond but the talls as well.

Fevola and The Big Fat Ugly Kid one week into Richardson and Troy Simmonds the next scares me enough as it is. Now we've lost our best defender for this? This sport is for the tip - I'm going to start following golf.

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