AFL defends Hunter verdict - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL defends Hunter verdict

By Roger Vaughan and Melissa Woods 11/05/2005 07:31:35 PM Comments (0)

The AFL strongly defended Tuesday night's Adam Hunter tribunal verdict as St Kilda coach Grant Thomas again expressed his "concerns" on Wednesday over the new system.

A week after the tribunal handed Saints full-forward Fraser Gehrig a one-match striking ban, West Coast's Hunter managed to escape with a reprimand for an incident that looked worse.

Thomas last week predicted a rash of reports after Gehrig was booked for his self-described "tummy tap" on Collingwood opponent Jason Cloke.

The Eagles used the tribunal system skilfully on Tuesday night, exploiting a provision that was outlined in the AFL's official guide to the newly introduced reforms.

Thomas was careful in his comments on Wednesday, saying Tuesday night's verdict left him "convinced" he was right.

But he was hopeful the AFL would listen to feedback and change some elements of the tribunal set-up.

"If we're all thinking the same way, I will be really surprised if the AFL didn't have similar concerns and if they've got similar concerns I'm sure the AFL will address it over time," Thomas said.

"Probably not until the end of the year, but they'll address it.

"If the AFL don't share the concerns I'm sure everyone else feels well any amount of discussion or banging on the table or letters or whatever ... means we're so far apart in our thinking that we must be wrong."

Tribunal secretary Roger Berryman was quoted on the league's website as saying "It (Tuesday night's decision) was not an anomaly or a loophole, it has been in the guidelines from the start."

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