Geelong coach Chris Scott says on-field remonstration is “overrated” and AFL players are feeling pressure to fly the flag.
West Coast’s Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo, Will Schofield, and Jamie Cripps were all fined for their part in a melee that followed Tom Jonas’ crude hit on Andrew Gaff.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson had pleaded for his players not be fined, given Jonas knocked out Gaff so callously.
Jonas was sent straight to the tribunal by the match review panel, with his case to be heard on Tuesday.
Scott felt players were in a catch-22 after such incidents, suggesting they would be savaged by pundits if they left Jonas alone.
“If West Coast didn’t remonstrate at all I think they would have been heavily criticised – that looks terrible,” Scott told Fox Footy.
“What does it really achieve?
“I tend to think some players are worried about not doing it, for fear of criticism.
“I heard people in the footy world talking in different games over the weekend, that it’s a good sign when the teammates are sticking up for each other.
“I just think it’s overrated. I don’t think it’s a sign that your guys are up for the fight, or they’re not.”
Scott noted Jonas’ immediate reaction would have been “oh my God, what have I done?”.
“Everybody knew that was unacceptable,” he said.
“The line the AFL is attempting to tread is that a reaction is OK but a melee’s not.
“How you draw the distinction and what constitutes a melee – is it three or six (players involved)? Is it a bit of push and shove? Is it more than that?”
Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall disagreed with Scott, also pouring scorn on calls for a send-off rule.
“It’s a natural reaction, coming in to defend your mates,” Dunstall said on Fox Footy.
“I think a send-off rule is ridiculous.
“I don’t know why we’re discussing it .. I don’t think there is a need for it in our game.”
Brad Scott, Chris’ identical twin who coaches North Melbourne, opined that “flying the flag is just crap” last year after his side gave away some cheap free kicks in a feisty game against Hawthorn.
“Push and shove is not tough. It’s not brave. It’s rubbish … it’s cowardice,” Brad Scott said at the time.
“What is tough and courageous is copping something that’s a bit untoward, getting up and staying in control.”