Incidents involving Sydney’s Dane Rampe were taken out of the MRO’s hands by the AFL football operations department, with the Swans co-captain instead issued a “please explain” by the league on Monday in relation to controversial comments he made towards an umpire and his bizarre goal post climb in the dying seconds of the Swans’ win over Essendon.
Ablett was scrutinised for the second straight week, having been initially suspended for a high hit to Bomber Shiel last week, before the ban was downgraded to a fine at the tribunal.
There were similarities between the Shiel and Wright incidents, however Christian said on Monday that he had to look at the matters in isolation.
“In my role, along with [AFL football operations chief] Steve Hocking, each incident is assessed independently. So there’s no consideration of what happened last week or the week before. It’s assessed on its merits, and so that’s how this particular incident was assessed,” Christian said.
Christian explained that the fact Wright bounced straight back up, as opposed to Shiel, who stayed down for a while, played a role in the distinction.
“Considering a number of factors including the visible look of the incident, including the player reaction, also taking into account the potential to cause it was determined that the outcome was pretty much proportionate to the action, and there needs to be more than negligible force to constitute a reportable offence,” Christian said.
Christian hinted that Ablett would be well-advised to look at his blocking technique given the two incidents.
“We’ve looked at similar actions over the last two weeks so I imagine there’d be better-qualified people at Geelong that would probably draw that conclusion,” Christian said.
Fyfe is also in the clear, helped by the fact Lynch continued playing after copping an errant elbow from the 2015 Brownlow Medal winner.
Christian said he wasn’t told by the AFL why the Rampe matters had been diverted away from the MRO even though there is a provision in the match review guidelines that deals with post-shaking.
Rampe told the Swans’ website that he regretted the two incidents, the first of which was him saying to an umpire that “you talk like a little girl”.
“The comments I made to the umpire at the end of the second quarter … I just want it to be known that by no means did I mean any disrespect to them,” Rampe said.
“I know it’s a hard job they do, and at times my frustrations can boil over, but I hope that’s seen or portrayed in a way that shows my passion and excitement for the role I play in the team.
“By no way of imagination did I mean for my comments to be derogatory to girls. Being called a girl is something that should be celebrated. I’ve learnt from my mistake.”
As for the latter incident, in which Rampe climbed the goal post as Essendon’s David Myers lined up for a shot to win the game, Rampe said: “I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, but my intention was certainly to shake the post. There was a bit going on down there at the time and I think I just got caught up in the emotion of it. Safe to say I won’t be doing that again. I’m a little bit embarrassed by it.”
Daniel is an Age sports reporter.