Eagles defend not confronting Barry Hall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles defend not confronting Barry Hall

14/04/2008 06:39:25 PM Comments (0)

West Coast players held back from remonstrating with Sydney's Barry Hall after he punched Brent Staker for fears they would concede a shot at goal, Eagles assistant coach Peter Sumich said .

Sumich said the Eagles players were aware of the potential risks of confronting Hall over his strike on Staker, in a behind-the-play incident during the first quarter of Saturday night's AFL game at ANZ Stadium.

Hall has had his report referred directly to the AFL tribunal after the match review panel assessed his punch as Staker's head as intentional, high contact and causing severe impact.

He faces a lengthy suspension on Tuesday night.

The Eagles' reluctance to fly the flag and confront Hall after he punched Staker was one of the talking points raised in the aftermath of the incident, as Beau Waters was the only West Coast player to confront the Sydney forward.

But Sumich said there was little to gain for the Eagles in retaliating after one of their teammates was floored, as they did not want to get involved in an all-in brawl or risk the Swans being awarded a free kick at goal.

"What do you do these days? All you can do is grab them by their jumper and throw them to the ground," he said.

"I don't think that's worth its while any more, and that's why the players don't want to deal with it any more. They just let the AFL deal with it at the tribunal.

"It's a tough one because the AFL puts rules and regulations in and fines, so if players want to get involved after an incident, it's a little bit like the NRL, you see those type of things happen and really there's no other players getting involved.

"Players keep out of those things now and it's the way it's got to go, so that's why our players didn't really go in and remonstrate because they understand the consequences if you do.

"I don't know what you'd want from that (retaliating) ... whether you want to see 20 on 20 in a brawl, now I don't think that's the right thing."

Staker took no further part in the game after being punched, which prompted debate over whether the AFL should introduce a send-off rule for serious incidents.

"That's an interesting one," Sumich said.

"In today's rotations you might look at that, and the AFL might look at that now because we had 21 players running around which did affect us in that sense, because of our rotations and what we had planned before the game."

An AFL spokesman said the league had never discussed introducing a red-card rule.

The Eagles are yet to receive medical reports from the scans Staker underwent today, but are hopeful he can train on Wednesday.

He could play Port Adelaide on Sunday if given a medical clearance.

West Coast and Staker have also ruled out taking legal action against Hall.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are hopeful winger Andrew Embley will overcome the virus which kept him out of the Sydney game to train this week, while David Wirrpanda (hamstring) should be fine to play Port.

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