The West

Hodge gives MRP plenty to ponder
Hodge gives MRP plenty to ponder

St Kilda forward Justin Koschitzke will strangely be thanking his lucky stars today despite facing a certain suspension.

Koshitzke has a poor tribunal record, but changes to the laws over summer will avoid his penalty being massive.

Previously, players had their suspensions increased by 10 per cent for every week they’d been banned for in the last three years. The total was capped at 50 per cent.

But, under new rules, the 10 per cent increase only starts if a player has been suspended for at least three weeks in the last two seasons.

Koschitzke has served three matches during that time, so he’ll cop an extra 10 per cent, but that’s better than the 30 per cent it would have been previously.

The 20 per cent difference equates to a game of footy.

Justin Koschitzke (St Kilda) for striking Jamie Elliott (Collingwood)

The big Saint is in big trouble. He flung out his left arm as Elliott ran past late in the second term and struck the Magpie with an elbow to the face. It was off the ball and that has extra ramifications.
Under changes to the rules last year, off-the-ball incidents involving elbows will be classified as intentional.

The MRP also has the power to rate the level of impact to a point that includes danger. So, Koschitzke could be charged with intentional conduct with high contact and high impact.
That’s 425 points. Koschitzke’s poor record in the last two years will increase that by 10 per cent so a guilty plea would see him handed a three-match suspension.

Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide) for making forceful front on contact to Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)

Wingard’s attack on Cunnington was sloppy. The Kangaroo midfielder had his head down and while Wingard tried to avoid making contact at the last minute, he still hit him in the head. The MRP will probably call it negligent conduct because Wingard at least did something to avoid bumping Cunnington. It was low impact and high contact. That will allow Wingard to plead guilty and receive a reprimand. He will get suspended for one week if the MRP decides his conduct was reckless.

Lee Spurr (Fremantle) for charging Karmichael Hunt (Gold Coast)

Spurr was a split second late getting to the marking contest and collided with Hunt after he’d taken the mark. The Fremantle defender didn’t jump but he didn’t have his hands in a position to mark either and that’s likely to see him reported for charging.

By not jumping, he’ll most likely avoid having his actions called reckless. Hunt is tough but couldn’t take his kick so that poses an interesting classification for the MRP. The former rugby league star played out the game so it’s most likely that the impact would be called medium. There’s no doubt it was body contact.
That combination would see Spurr offered a reprimand.

Joel Selwood (Geelong) and Chris Newman (Richmond) for wrestling each other

There has been speculation that Selwood and Newman's wild fight would attract a rough conduct report. That is highly unlikely. Yes, it looked more like a scene from the UFC or WWE, but neither player got hurt and neither player tried to hurt the other. They simply got carried away.

The most obvious precendent is when Barry Hall put North Melbourne's Scott Thompson in a headlock and wouldn't let go for a very long time. That cost Hall $3000. Selwood and Newman will pay a price for their actions, but it'll be a monetary figure rather than time on the sidelines.

The West Australian

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