(Image: Channel Seven)
“You can still punch in footy.”
That’s the message coming out of the AFL, according to Triple M Footy’s Damian Barrett, after Sydney midfielder Zak Jones was let off on Monday with a fine for punching Hawthorn’s Luke Breust in the chest on Friday night at the SCG.
The league came out strongly last week after a spate of jumper and stomach punches were mildly punished by the match review panel, with AFL chief Gillon McLachlan saying he didn’t like the look of punching.
Footy operations boss Simon Lethlean intimated there would be a crackdown, starting with Round 10.
But Damo dismissed all of that rhetoric as “a lot of hot air” after Jones received just a $1500 fine.
“It is just noise when it’s the AFL,” Damo told Triple M’s Rush Hour on Monday.
Billy Brownless agreed, saying: “If there was ever one, they could say this is it because it was a pretty forceful punch.”
Damo continued: “We spoke about it last week and then the AFL danced around it all Monday and they came out the next day and said, ‘We will change it, we’ve actually got the rules to change it and the players are on notice’.
“Well, Zak Jones was on notice when he decided to throw a fist in the direction of the throat area of Breust and the match review panel today has done what it previously has done with Ben Cunnington on Bernie Vince and Trent Cotchin on Lachie Neale.”
James Brayshaw described Monday as “the most mystifying day” of the footy week due to how confusing the MRP penalties are.