Geelong will not risk contesting a charge against skipper Joel Selwood, despite strongly disagreeing with it.
Selwood was booked for making unnecessary or unreasonable contact with an injured player when he pushed his brother and West Coast Eagles star Adam while on the ground during last Friday’s AFL game.
Adam had hit Joel with a forceful hip and shoulder and was then pushed by Joel with both hands when he was on his knees recovering.
The Cats will plead guilty which reduces the charge from a one-match suspension to a reprimand with 80 carry over points, which could be a problem if Selwood has any further indiscretions this season.
While accepting the deal, Cats coach Chris Scott made it clear he did not agree his captain should have been charged at all.
“I think the odds are stacked against you if you appeal something,” Scott said.
“There are a lot of pretty good cases I think you could make, particularly the fact that Joel’s been charged with interfering with an injured player who wasn’t injured. That’s probably key to that story but on balance, he won’t miss a week.
“Are we at the point now that after every contest that you’ve got to inquire as to the health of all the players at the bottom of the pack? I don’t think we’re quite there yet.
“It’s very disappointing that he will have those 80-odd carry-over points but I think the probability is it’s something that we will just have to live with.”
He said that while in principle a challenge could be made, the reality was that Geelong could not afford to go into next Friday’s game against St Kilda without Selwood.
“If there’s a risk that we could lose our captain and one of our best players, then it’s probably not something we’re prepared to take,” Scott said.
He said Selwood was in “an extremely awkward position to be in going into a finals series” with demerit points hanging over him.
“The nature of our industry is that you’re not always going to agree with the umpire’s decision but sometimes you just have to accept it.”
Scott said Joel had a big lump on his head, adding: “Adam was probably lucky that Joel got up quite quickly.”
Meanwhile, forward Tom Hawkins, who was concussed during last week’s game, could well play against the Saints.
“The signs are very positive. The nature of these type of injuries are that they can be very bad … but in a lot of the cases the players are really good,” Scott said.
“He’s just got to do a little bit of training and we’ve got to do a number of tests with him to make sure that he’s all clear but we certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest that he’s unlikely,” he said.