What you missed on TV last night

Written By Unknown on Senin, 02 Juni 2014 | 23.40

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HIGH contact was back on the agenda following the Match Review Panel's decision to throw out Heath Hocking's rough conduct charge.

The MRP ruled Hocking was competing for the ball and had no other option but to make high contact with Richmond young gun Ben Lennon last Saturday.

It followed a precedent set by the MRP when it let Sydney's Dan Hannebery off the same charge last month.

Western Bulldogs veteran Adam Cooney also escaped penalty for his high hit on Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett.

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whately said the MRP's ruling on Hannebery set a dangerous precedent.

"This is going to end pretty badly," Whateley said.

"He had to be cleared Hocking ... we never should have gone down this path."

The debate was again waged when Melbourne coach Paul Roos and Essendon caretaker Mark Thompson joined the program.

Both agreed rules surrounding headhigh contact made it difficult for players.

"It must be hard for the players because they seem to be getting it wrong," Thompson said.

Roos was equally as strong on the point.

"I've got no doubt players are confused about what they can and can't do at the moment."

Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom was remorseful after this incident. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

Extras ...

■ Essendon coach Mark Thompson was quizzed on Geelong's performance against Sydney last week.

"They just lost their way," he said. "They were overawed."

Melbourne coach Paul Roos said the Swans were reaping the rewards of having the most talented team in the competition.

"They've always had that hardness and competitiveness, no you've got that elite talent to go with culture and competitevness they've always had."

■ Robbo was scathing of Richmond in his assessment. "I don't even barrack for Richmond but I am embarrassed looking at Richmond. They are pretenders."

Robbo said Tigers coach Damien Hardwick had to make 'the' hard decisions to stop the rot.

"In this age of brutal intensity — defensive attitudes, attitudes to win contested ball — it's unconditional and Richmond don't play unconditional football, they play football on their own terms."

■ Roos praised the form of utility Cameron Pedersen. He said the defender-turned-forward was enjoying "career-best" form.

■ Thompson said the Bombers used "serious sessions" during the bye weeks to work key aspects of their game including ball movement.

■ The entire panel lauded the arrival of new St Kilda development coach Peta Searle.

■ Gerard and Robbo sang North Melbourne's praises after Sunday's win over West Coast. Robbo said it was "Fremantle-like". "This was as clinical a dismantling of a team (that we've seen) ... they shut them down, attacked from the back

half." Gerard said the last piece of the puzzle would be for North to become "dependable".

■ They agreed on the MRP's decisions with Steele Sidebottom (three weeks), Jeremy Cameron (one week) and Adam Goodes (cleared).

■ Robbo said Greater Western Sydney made a "statement" pushing an undermanned Hawthorn to edge on the MCG.

Jack Watts is making the most of a turnaround in fortunes. Picture: Alex Coppel Source: News Corp Australia

ON THE COUCH — Fox Footy

MELBOURNE star Jack Watts spoke openly about his and the club's resurgence.

Watts said he was enjoying the benefits of extra rotations (7-8) to aid recovery and reduce mistakes.

"A lot of that (mistakes) happens when I'm stuffed," he said.

"The last couple of weeks I've been working on coming to the bench a bit more ... I'm a bit more of a burst player instead of endurance wise."

Watts said he was confident in the direction the club was taking under coach Paul Roos.

"We're not setting the world on fire by any means — but the direction — feel there's good times ahead."

Watts who made his debut in the 2009 Queen's Birthday loss to Collingwood said he was looking forward to Monday's renewal.

"We're ready," he said referring to Roos' "team first" concept.

"In the past we've fallen in that trap with guys thinking they've got to win the game themselves," he said.

"All the boys now know: 'play your role, do the simple things, you don't have to go over and above'."

Blues skipper Marc Murphy leads his team from the field after shock loss to Brisbane. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

■ Lists dominated the early segments with Mike Sheahan revealing his "Ladder of Shame" and "Top 10 Recycled Players".

The respected AFL journalist had West Coast in the gun as the most disappointing team of all in 2014.

Richmond and Carlton were next on the hit list from the Bulldogs, Brisbane, GWS, St Kilda and Melbourne.

In contrasts, Sheahan deemed Port Adelaide and Gold Coast to be operating above expectation.


1. West Coast

2. Richmond

3. Carlton

4. Western Bulldogs

5. Brisbane

6. Greater Western Sydney

7. St Kilda

8. Melbourne

9. Adelaide

10. Essendon

11. Fremantle

12. North Melbourne

13. Geelong

14. Collingwood

15. Hawthorn

16. Sydney

17. Gold Coast

18. Port Adelaide

■ The conversation shifted to North Melbourne and in turn Nick Dal Santo, who Jason Dunstall had as his recruit of the year.

Dunstall had Port Adelaide speedster Matt White ahead of Lance Franklin in third most effective recruits.

Sheahan had another Power player in Jared Polec atop his list of high performing recruits.

Dal Santo was second on Sheahan's list from Franklin and Melbourne midfielder Dom Tyson.


Mike Sheahan

Jared Polec (PA)

Nick Dal Santo (NM)

Lance Franklin (Syd)

Dom Tyson (Mel)

Jesse White (Coll)

Bernie Vince (Mel)

Paul Chapman (Ess)

Stewart Crameri (WB)

Daniel Cross (Mel)

Andrejs Everitt (Carl)

Lance Franklin is back to his best. Picture: Toby Zerna Source: News Corp Australia

Jason Dunstall

Nick Dal Santo (NM)

Jesse White (Coll)

Lance Franklin (Syd)

Jared Polec (PA)

Dom Tyson (Mel)

Daniel Cross (Mel)

Paul Chapman (Ess)

Bernie Vince (Mel)

Matt Thomas (Rich)

Andrejs Everitt (Carl)

Extras ...

■ The panel was united in the belief Essendon and Adelaide are the only clubs outside the eight with a realistic chance of playing finals. But no one was prepared to suggest which clubs inside the eight would fall out of contention.

■ Dunstall lauded Adelaide spearhead Taylor Walker's return to form with five goals to sink Gold Coast. "He controlled the forward line," Dunstall said. "There's a touch of arrogance about the way he plays and I like that."

■ Sliding came under scrutiny with vision of Tiger Steve Morris taking out Bomber Michael Hibberd's legs last Saturday night. Dunstall said there was confusion around the rule and that it was the players' — arriving second to a contest —

responsibility to avoid traffic.

■ Plight of the Tigers: Healy said Cotchin had to lead Richmond out of its slump. "Cotchin is the master of the chip kick but he's not hitting targets. He is their quality in the middle of the ground and he's got to lead the way."


■ In an interview recorded before the MRP announced its three-match penalty, Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom said he would cop any sanction that came his way on the chin. He said the incident "shook" him up. "To say that it

wasn't on my mind I'd be lying," he said. "I went over and apologised, obviously it happened and there was nothing I could do after it, I just said I was sorry — I don't like to be seen like that."

■ Laws of the Game committee member John Worsforld said the panel was looking at the possibility of zones to restrict players' movement in a bid to ease congestion. The West Coast premiership coach said the first step towards any changes

would be to get input about what would coaches do (if zones were implemented), how would it possibly be interpreted by clubs and how would they try and exploit it.

AFL chief Andrew Demetriou departs the game with a glowing legacy. Picture: Brendan Radke Source: News Corp Australia


AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou joined the program for the last time before handing over the reins to successor Gillon McLachlan on Thursday.

Demetriou was quizzed on a range of issues including Etihad Stadium, Essendon and his relationship with James Hird.

"It would have been nice to have purchased Etihad Stadium earlier because I think it would have been good for our clubs," he said.

Under the current terms the AFL will buy the stadium for $30 in 2025.

"I think it would be very advantageous if the league look it earlier ... no doubt the clubs that have played at Etihad Stadium (North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and St Kilda) have born the brunt of poor match returns and they've helped

pay the stadium off to be honest."

Demetriou said he was not conflicted by sitting on the AFL Commission during the league's investigation into Essendon's supplements program.

"There's no doubt that there is a signifanct advantage in a matter that is as complex as the one that we had with Essendon that the CEO can be in there and be the voice and talk to the public about all sorts of issues."

The outgoing chief refuted suggestions the investigation and fallout became personal between him and exiled Bombers coach James Hird.

"It never became personal for me," he said.

Extras ...

■ Richmond led the agenda with Matthew Lloyd accusing the club of "shortsighted recruiting", while Craig Hutchison questioned Tiger's coach Damian Hardwick's job security.

■ Lloyd's comments sparked debate around the club's recruiting and the need to refresh the list at the end of the season.

■ Hutchison suggested Carlton forward Jarrad Waite, an unrestricted free agent, would not be at Visy Park next year. The conversation shifted to Mick Malthouse and whether his position was assured beyond next year. Caroline Wilson and

Hutchy felt Malthouse faces an uncertain future, while Garry Lyon said the Blues' bosses should "give him a chance" to get the club back in form.

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