Cats prepared to exploit AFL’s ‘surprising’ tribunal loophole

Geelong faces Charlie Cameron this week after his ban was controversially reduced to a fine. And while he might not agree with it, Chris Scott said his club will use the same clause.

AFL: The AFL disagrees with the tribunal ruling on Charlie Cameron heavy tackle but will not appeal.

As coach Geelong Scott confirmed earlier on Thursday, the Cats will regain captain Patrick Dangerfield (hamstring), spearhead Tom Hawkins and defender Jake Kolodjashnij (both managed)

Ruckman Rhys Stanley, who impressed in his 200th game, and defender Zach Tuohy have both been managed.

But the Cats dumped 21-year-old big man Shannon Neale and round five debutant Connot O’Sullivan.

It came just hours after Scott said it would be the club’s “preference” to Neale against Brisbane after his eye-catching display as a late inclusion for Hawkins last week, booting three goals in the win over North Melbourne.

“I think it’s reasonable – and I flagged this previously – that we will play Hawkins, Cameron and Neale in the same team at some point,” Scott said.

“Obviously the way we sort of think about our ruckman sort of builds into that conversation as well. So yeah, we’re really pleased with the way he played and it would be our preference to keep going with him.”

Cats prepared to exploit AFL’s ‘surprising’ tribunal loophole

Geelong coach Chris Scott believes it is incumbent on the Cats to use the same AFL tribunal loophole as Brisbane goalkicker Charlie Cameron if their players face match review scrutiny this season.

Cameron had his one-week dangerous tackle suspension on Melbourne defender Jake Lever lowered to a fine on Tuesday night due to “exceptional and compelling circumstances” — rule 19.6 in the AFL Tribunal code.

This included his character, clean record in terms of suspension across his 207-game career and the fact Lever played out the match.

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AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon told the AFL website on Wednesday that they would not appeal the tribunal result but that the league would review its processes at the end of the year.

Scott was unprepared to publicly share his fully fledged view on the overturned ban, claiming he wouldn’t be able to help the conversation.

He also referred to the “challenging” element that the Cats face Cameron’s Lions on Saturday night.

But he said the clause used to overturn Cameron’s ban was surprising, and one the Cats would look to exercise themselves.

Charlie Cameron will face the Cats on Saturday night. Picture: Michael Klein

“Well you have to now, you have to now. Whether you agree with it or not it’s incumbent on you to use that,” Scott said.

“It would be offensive to any of our players to suggest they have lesser character than the two players in recent history (Cameron and Bachar Houli in 2017) who have successfully used that clause – because there are plenty of others who have asked for it and been denied, which is highly offensive.

“I think the broader conversation is one worth having. I don’t feel like I have anything to add to it right at the moment, except to say that we’re really clear on what the AFL is trying to do around dangerous tackles and in anything that has a potential to cause head trauma.

“When I saw (the incident) I expected him to be playing. So it’s not like it’s not like it’s overly surprising, the surprising part is how they got to that point.

“I’ve got a view on it, but I just don’t think I can be constructive around that conversation at the moment… I’m generally not afraid to contribute my opinion, – I think that’s reasonable – but it is much more challenging when you’re playing that team this week.”

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