MELBOURNE wants greater clarity on whether the action or the outcome is the deciding factor in dangerous tackle adjudications after two rival players beat bans this week.
SLIDING DOORS What's Damian Barrett saying about your club?
Demon Alex Neal-Bullen still has a game to serve on his four-match ban for his tackle that concussed Crow Will Hamill in round 10.
The AFL made a rule change on dangerous tackles in mid-June that included considering the 'potential to cause injury' after Shaun Burgoyne escaped with a fine for one such tackle.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge already raised his confusion in the wake of Port Adelaide's Sam Powell-Pepper and Geelong's Luke Dahlhaus successfully downgrading their dangerous tackle charges.
There were also fines for Melbourne's Ed Langdon and Adelaide's Lachie Murphy. Bulldogs defender Hayden Crozier received a one-game ban in early July for a sling tackle despite also trying to overturn it at the Tribunal.
Demons coach Simon Goodwin, like Beveridge, said there was "still some grey area" in the interpretation and that a "disappointed" Neal-Bullen wanted his own clarity.
"I think you can clearly see there's a pretty significant shift between a four-week suspension and getting off," Goodwin said.
"It's quite close and the action can be similar, but the outcome can be slightly different and there's no doubt there's a pretty big gap between what the penalty looks like.
"From Alex's situation, four weeks is a pretty hefty price to pay and obviously you're seeing some guys at the moment who are challenging and getting off."
Captain Max Gawn (knee) and experienced midfielder Nathan Jones (quadriceps) will both return for Melbourne's important clash with St Kilda at Alice Springs on Saturday night.
They will consider pairing Braydon Preuss with Gawn against Saints ruck duo Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall.
Goodwin's Demons need to win a minimum of three of their remaining five games and possibly as many as four.
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
"I haven't done the maths on it exactly, but from what I can gather, nine or 10 wins will get you in," he said.
"We know it's a really tight competition and there are a lot of teams vying for those spots, so we get to control our destiny.
"We play a team above us on the ladder this week. That's all we can look at. It's time, as a footy club, that we really stand up and perform well against some of the really strong teams."