West Coast have come under fire for trying to throw North Melbourne forward Lindsay Thomas under the bus in a bid to overturn Luke Shuey's two-game ban at the tribunal this week.
Kangaroos legend Glenn Archer told The Age that Shuey had broken the players' code by accusing Thomas of staging in his bid to have a two-game striking ban thrown out.
The charge was levelled against Shuey for an awkward incident where he appeared to elbow the Kangaroos forward in the groin during the Eagles'two-point win in Tasmania at the weekend. At the tribunal, the midfielder's advocate argued that Thomas had a history of staging and had exaggerated the contact.
The argument proved fruitless and the two-game ban was upheld.
Archer said the Eagles had the right to explore every avenue in a bid to protect Shuey, but had strayed down a dirty path this time.
"One thing with the tribunal that's disappointed me in the last five or six years is the old-school way of looking after your fellow player just doesn't seem to be there any more. At the end of the day, you're all part of the same (players') club," he told The Age.
"Whether it's the right thing or the wrong thing, I reckon every player should try to look after each other and a bit of 'what happens on the field, stays on the field' sort of thing.
"I've got no problem with advocates doing their best for the player they're representing, but you don't do that to the detriment of another player."
Eagles coach John Worsfold has denied any knowledge of the arguments presented at the tribunal, yesterday saying it was the decision of the club's legal counsel.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was also critical of the case.
"I'd be disappointed if our club went about it that way," Hardwick told the Herald Sun.
"The incident was what it was. It's not something we want to see in our game. And then to put the view that Lindsay Thomas added to it was a little bit of a long bow to draw for mine."