BROWNLOW medallist Patrick Dangerfield says he's still perplexed that Gold Coast utility Nick Holman was initially slapped with a two-game ban for a rundown tackle that earned him a free kick.
Dangerfield's teammate Mitch Duncan suffered a concussion when his head hit the turf after being run down from behind by Holman.
Most experts viewed the injury as merely bad luck, with Holman's technique appearing to be sound.
But Match Review Officer Michael Christian thought differently and he raised eyebrows when he deemed Holman's action was worthy of a two-match ban.
The dangerous tackle charge was dismissed by the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night, and Dangerfield was left scratching his head that there was a suspension handed down in the first place.
"It's a little perplexing," Dangerfield told SEN.
"In that scenario when you're chasing down a player, I'm not sure there's much more he could have done. It did seem like the perfect play.
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"It's a hard game to play. And something like that where you're doing your best to put pressure on the opponent - you've got to be realistic with what you're asking your players to do.
"There's plenty of cases throughout the year where the right decision was made but we were just a little bit off with that one over the weekend.
"I think in the end the right decision was made."
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Carlton defender Lachie Plowman wasn't so lucky at the AFL Tribunal, failing to overturn a two-game suspension for concussing Hawthorn star Jaeger O'Meara. The Blues will attempt to overturn the decision at the AFL Appeals Board this week.
Plowman had his eyes on the ball when he came in and bumped O'Meara as the Hawthorn midfielder was about to take a mark.
The clash of heads resulted in a concussion to O'Meara.
The AFL's legal counsel Jeff Gleeson argued it was not reasonable for Plowman to contest the ball and he had a duty of care to protect O'Meara.
Dangerfield wasn't so sure.
"It's right on the cusp. It's a really difficult one," Dangerfield said.
"I feel for Lachie in that situation, as much as I feel for Jaeger and the player on the receiving end.
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"It's easy to review these things in slow motion and talk about what the players should have done but this is a high-speed game.
"You're trying to do your best for the team, put pressure on opponents to win the ball, all these sorts of things.
"We understand as players it's a contact game, it's a difficult game, and split-second decisions have to be made.
"Most of the time you're trying to impact where you can for the betterment of the team."