Match Review Panel – Staging Takes Centre Stage

Leroy Jetta became the first player to be sanctioned for staging after taking a dive in the second quarter on Saturday night - http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik

Essendon’s Leroy Jetta has become the first player to be cited by the Match Review Panel for staging after diving in an attempt to draw a free-kick on Saturday night.

After kicking a goal in the second quarter, Jetta milked a small amount of contact and the incident was subsequently looked at.

He went to ground holding his face after the goal was kicked. As this is his first offense for staging, he will receive a written reprimand.

The AFL have labelled the incident as ‘unsportsmanlike’ and MRP chairman Mark Fraser believes the incident could have incited a melee, and thus was worthy of a charge.

Jetta’s MRP journey didn’t end there though, and he will be forced to miss next Saturday’s clash with Greater Western Sydney after being found guilty of a level-two striking offence against young Richmond defender Dylan Grimes.

Due to his existing poor record, even with an early plea, he cannot sufficiently reduce the amount of demerit points to be free to play next weekend.

Young GWS star Toby Greene also had his first taste of MRP justice, being handed down a level two rough conduct verdict for his reckless high contact on Brisbane’s Jed Adcock.

The contact warranted 225 demerit points and a two-match suspension. However, he has no existing record and an early plea will mean he will only miss next weekend’s clash with the Bombers.

Luckily for fans and punters, this will not make him ineligible for the 2012 NAB Rising Star.

Brent Harvey had a day to forget against Port Adelaide on Saturday, and bad has become worse after being charged with a level two striking offence against Power rookie Chad Wingard.

Luckily for Harvey, with an early plea, he is free to play due to him having no existing record.

Both Harvey and Greene’s citations were worth five activation points, but the MRP deems rough conduct as a more serious offense than striking.

From the same game, Port Adelaide’s Jackson Trengove will also be free to play with an early plea after committing a level one forceful contact from a front-on offence.

Trengove’s heavy bump on North Melbourne’s Kieran Harper in the final term of Saturday’s game earned him the same amount of demerit points as Harvey’s offence (125), but as he also has no previous record, he can reduce his one-game ban to a reprimand.

Bulldogs player Dylan Addison received the most demerit points of the round after committing a level-three striking offence in the first quarter of their game against the Gold Coast in Darwin.

His charge, committed on Suns young gun Harley Bennell, was deemed as intentional, and due to his previous bad record, he was handed down 247.50 demerit points, which can be reduced to 185.63 with an early plea.

In short, no player will miss more than one game unless Greene or Addison choose to contest and fail to convince the MRP of their innocence, in which case, they will miss two games.

In all likelihood, all players charged will miss one match of football for their offences.

In lesser charges at the MRP this week, two monetary sanctions were handed down.

North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas was charged with making an obscene gesture at the crowd and West Coast’s Daniel Kerr was charged with making negligent contact with umpire Chris Donlon.

Both have been handed $1200 fines which can be reduced to $900 with an early plea.

They’re not worthy!

Three other incidents were assessed on the weekend but not deemed worthy of charges.

Jack Ziebell of the Kangaroos was assessed for an incident involving high contact with Port Adelaide’s John Butcher. It was determined that in the marking contest in which the incident occurred, Ziebell was attempting to win the ball and no action was taken.

Another Kangaroos player, Scott D. Thompson, was assessed for an incident in which he blocked Port Adelaide’s Brett Ebert as they attempted to go for a loose ball.

After investigating a medical report from Port Adelaide and looking at all available footage, the panel viewed that Thompson’s actions were not unreasonable and Ebert was to expect contact.

Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne was again in trouble with the panel, but escaped without a sanction. Ballantyne walked past Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell and pushed Mitchell in the chest. However in the view of the panel, the force was not sufficient to constitute an offence.

Summary of sanctioned players:

Leroy Jetta, Essendon (striking, staging) – 1-match ban (no reduction available) and a written reprimand

Toby Greene, Greater Western Sydney (rough conduct) – 2-match ban (reduced to 1 match with an early plea)

Brent Harvey, North Melbourne (striking) – 1-match ban (reduced to a reprimand with an early plea)

Jackon Trengove, Port Adelaide (front-on bumping/forceful conduct) – 1-match ban (reduced to a reprimand with an early plea)

Dylan Addison, Western Bulldogs (striking) – 2-match ban (reduced to 1 match with an early plea)

Lindsay Thomas, North Melbourne (obscene gesture) – $1200 fine (reduced to $900 with an early plea)

Daniel Kerr, West Coast (negligent contact with an umpire) – $1200 fine (reduced to $900 with an early plea)

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