AFL 2024: Luke Beveridge calls for tribunal reform

AFL match review board officer Michael Christian should ask “more questions” to establish intent before laying charges like the one against Western Bulldogs forward Rhylee West who was sent off on Tuesday night, according to his coach Luke Beveridge.

While declaring his support for a review of the rules that eliminate players suspended for footballing acts from competing for the Rising Star award, Beveridge said players should “always step down” when incidents occur “no matter how hurt the other guy is player”. .

West was cleared of misconduct, and his one-week suspension overturned, after a clash with Collingwood veteran Jeremy Howe in the goal area of ​​Marvel Stadium during last Friday’s match.

West was running at a fast pace and picked Howe up high as he attempted to take possession of the ball, but successfully argued that he only braced himself for contact and caught Howe as he went to tackle his Magpie teammate Brayden Maynard.

While Beveridge was happy that the court process produced the outcome it should have, he said such cases shouldn’t even get to that point.

“It was completely random, he was trying to do something and a Collingwood player bumped into him,” Beveridge said on Wednesday.

“Ideally, the matter is resolved before he is charged and we don’t have to worry about it, or questions are asked and maybe a little more time is spent on something like that so it doesn’t end up getting to the jury.

“I’ve always thought that if you could actually establish whether a player intended to hurt someone or not, and people talk about football acts and non-football acts, I think you can understand if there is a clear intent.

“When there are incidents or cases where there is no real intent, I think the player should always walk away, regardless of how hurt the other player is.

“I think you can use the old civil test, the balance of probabilities, the 50-50 test rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Bulldogs did not contest the two-match suspension given to youngster Sam Darcy for his hard hit on Maynard which also ruled him ineligible for the Rising Star.

A similar fate befell prohibitive favorite Harley Reid, who was banned for two matches for a dangerous tackle.

But amid the fallout, Geelong Premiership coach Chris Scott, who won the Rising Star in 1994 after a suspension ruled out Corey McKernan, said “the benchmark for being suspended is much tighter” now and the most correct component was a “relic” and “for me a little old-fashioned”.

Beveridge said he agrees a conversation should be had.

“I’m aware that Chris Scott has made sure that the evolution of our thinking and the criteria that you could get away with then you can’t get away with now,” he said.

“I think it’s a definitive conversation to have. How do you get to the point where you understand what goes through the gateway and what doesn’t? I do not know.

“I think what Chris Scott said was very valid based on how the game has evolved, the four cameras, the sensitivity around concussions, but I’ll stay away from figuring out (how) to do that.”

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