Suns to fight ‘ridiculous’ ban for ‘perfect’ tackle

The Gold Coast Suns will contest the two-match ban controversially handed to Nick Holman for a tackle that ended the afternoon of knocked out Geelong star Mitch Duncan.

Match Review Officer Michael Christian charged Holman with Rough Conduct (Dangerous Tackle), grading the tackle as careless conduct, high impact and high contact.

Duncan’s head slammed into the turf after Holman chased him down and made the tackle. As a result Duncan suffered a concussion, and played no further part in the game. He required assistance from the trainer to leave the field.

Gold Coast announced today that they will fight the charge, which carries a two-match ban with an early plea.

The charge drew heavy criticism from AFL pundits for punishing Holman in what was a seemingly textbook tackle. Rather than being penalised, Holman was rewarded with a holding-the-ball free kick against Duncan.

“Holman wins the free kick and gets suspended for two weeks. Strange game sometimes,” Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes tweeted.

“Surely we aren’t going to accept Nick Holman’s tackle as a two-week ban? That is a perfect chase from behind tackle, nothing ill towards his actions at all!” Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson tweeted.

“Duncan was concussed, that’s unfortunate but it’s a risk we take playing a contact sport.”

“Ridiculous. Unfortunately in a contact sport this is going to happen occasionally,” Richmond legend Matthew Richardson added on social media.

Duncan was also on the receiving end of horrible social media abuse after his concussion, as revealed by his wife Demi.

St Kilda legend Leigh Montagna said Holman was hard done by and shouldn’t be punished for an accident.

“He’s executed the perfect tackle, he had no other alternative, the tackle wasn’t dangerous, it wasn’t reckless, he laid the perfect tackle and it’s a football action,” Montagna said on Fox Sports.

“Sometimes accidents happen. The momentum of the tackle, unfortunately, led to Duncan hitting his head. That’s unfortunate. It’s a sport where accidents happen.”

Two-time AFL Premiership winner David King accused the AFL of “overcorrecting” in trying to eliminate head injuries.

“That is a football action. That shouldn’t even be going to the tribunal,” he said on Fox Sports.

“They’ve overcorrected, they’ve panicked, they’ve jumped at shadows, missed a couple last week. I reckon the whole system has had a horror run for six weeks.”

Due to his concussion Duncan will at least miss Geelong’s next match against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.

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