Kerr, Carr weigh up AFL charges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kerr, Carr weigh up AFL charges

28/04/2008 08:09:06 PM Comments (0)

West Coast are weighing up whether to risk a five-match AFL suspension for elite midfielder Daniel Kerr by fighting a head-butting charge.

The likely ban for Kerr is another severe blow to an Eagles side which is experiencing a woeful run of form, with five bad losses in succession.

It comes on top of some injury woes with the club learning young midfielder Shannon Hurn will be out for up to six weeks with a leg fracture, while defender Adam Hunter (knee) could also be facing a stint on the sidelines.

Having already struggled to cope with the absence of former skippers Ben Cousins and Chris Judd from their midfield this season, the loss of Kerr will heap further pressure on the mostly inexperienced Eagles on-ballers.

It will also cost him the chance to take on Judd when he comes to Subiaco for the first time in opposition colours as Carlton captain on Friday night, in what is a vital match for West Coast to revive their flagging season.

Fremantle midfielder Josh Carr is also facing a significant spell on the sidelines, over a charge of kneeing Geelong star Gary Ablett.

Kerr and Carr were not helped by their poor tribunal records, with both being handed a 40 per cent penalty increase, as well as carryover points.

The AFL's match review panel on Monday assessed Kerr's head-butt to the jaw of Western Bulldogs veteran Scott West as intentional, high contact and of medium impact.

Combined with a penalty loading for Kerr's string of previous offences, that means the star Eagle can accept a three-game ban if he pleads guilty to the charge, or risk five matches by contesting the case.

An Eagles spokesman said the club and their lawyers were yet to make a decision on whether to challenge the finding, but there could be avenues open to them.

"You can take anything on, if they think there's room they'll probably have a crack," he said.

"But it's five games or three, so there's a lot to weigh up."

Based on television footage of the incident and the fact that West spent some time on the bench recovering, it seems unlikely that the Eagles could contest the findings of high contact and medium impact.

But Kerr hinted at a possible defence on Sunday when he said the contact was "along the lines of accidental".

If he could persuade the tribunal that it was accidental, that would clear him of the charge entirely.

More realistically, a downgrading to reckless conduct, rather than intentional, combined with a guilty plea would allow him to reduce his penalty to a two-match ban.

A downgrading to negligent conduct would equate to a one-game suspension.

The Dockers, who have a history of contesting charges at the tribunal, were also uncertain whether Carr would visit the tribunal on Tuesday night or take his medicine.

The feisty on-baller can accept a three-game ban over his knee to the thigh of Ablett at a centre bounce, or risk a four-match suspension if he fights the charge.

No other player faces a suspension after last weekend's matches.

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