Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield has launched a spirited defence of the tackle which may cost him a second Brownlow Medal.
Dangerfield pinned Matthew Kreuzer’s arms and dumped the ruckman head first into the Etihad Stadium turf during Geelong’s 65-point victory on Saturday night.
Kreuzer was ushered to the Carlton rooms and wasn’t sighted for the rest of the match, with the Blues later confirming he had suffered a concussion.
The incident is certain to come under heavy scrutiny when the AFL match review panel meets on Monday.
Former Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney on Sunday said he believed Dangerfield would receive a one-game suspension.
A bemused Dangerfield said he wasn’t aware of the furore surrounding the tackle until he was shown the footage after the game.
“I actually thought he still had the ball, so that’s why I’ve turned around and put my hands in the air,” he told the Seven Network’s AFL Game Day.
“‘I haven’t been cited for anything. I felt it was a fair tackle.
“There was no umpire’s call at the time, so I don’t see an issue with it, but it’s not up to me.”
At the heart of the issue is the fact Kreuzer’s arms were pinned, meaning he had no opportunity to protect himself.
This could lead the MRP to class it as a dangerous tackle, however they must also decide whether Dangerfield used “excessive force” in bringing down the 101kg Kreuzer.
If the MRP decide Dangerfield has a case to answer, it seems almost certain he will face suspension.
The Cats star had been joint favourite to become the first back-to-back Brownlow winner since St Kilda champion Robert Harvey.
Geelong coach Chris Scott said he was confident Dangerfield would be cleared.
“I think the powers that be have been very clear that the severity of any injury only comes into play once you acknowledge there’s been a breach of the rules,” he said.
“I just don’t see that when I watch it.”
Sydney star Josh Kennedy also came to Dangerfield’s defence, adding that the incident should be judged on intent rather than the outcome.
“If it was one of my teammates, you’d be disappointed if they were to go for something like that,” he said.