The West

Whistleblower - Clean slate for grand finalists

The good news for the clubs competing in the preliminary finals is the Match Review Panel is unlikely to be looking at incidents involving their players. But Fremantle will still have some nervous moments coming up with both Hayden Ballantyne and Alex Silvagni facing scrutiny.


Hayden Ballantyne (Fremantle) for engaging in rough conduct towards Luke Thompson (Adelaide).
Ballantyne’s record: 33.13 demerit points left on his record. Three games suspended in the last three years, increasing his penalty by 30 per cent.

It’s a tough call to decide what the MRP will do with this incident. Thompson went to ground to win possession but Ballantyne slid in from the other direction and bumped him high. The MRP has to decide whether Ballantyne was reckless by sliding instead of laying a tackle. If they decide he has a case to answer, the report would be for reckless conduct, high contact and low impact.

That classification would normally see a player offered a one-match ban, but Ballantyne’s record is a problem. By adding the carry-over points and percentage increases, Ballantyne would be offered a two-game suspension and be unavailable until round three next year.

Alex Silvagni (Fremantle) for misconduct in that he headbutted Jared Petrenko (Adelaide).
Silvagni’s record: Nil.

Silvagni was silly for thrusting his head forward at Petrenko during the third term. He didn’t hurt the Crow but it was an unnecessary risk. The panel reported Western Bulldog Patrick Veszpremi for the same thing earlier in the year, but cleared Essendon’s Heath Hocking because they felt he didn’t make forceful contact. So, if they follow the Veszpremi decision, Silvagni will be offered a reprimand on the basis that he was reckless, made high contact but with low impact.

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