Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said he was “confused” about the high contact interpretation of Patrick Cripps’ two-game ban by the AFL Appeals Board for his hit on Callum Ah Chee, which confounded the Lions.
Cripps is free to play this weekend following a marathon hearing – a result that sparked debate from the footy world, with Kangaroo David King declaring he had “never lost more”.
Speaking after his team’s win over St Kilda on the night – a game missed due to concussion protocols – Fagan said the decision to clear the Crips was a mistake by the league to protect players’ heads.
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The Lions boss told reporters: “I’m confused as to how this will translate in the future.
“It’s good to watch Carlton and release their players, but I think we’re all about keeping our heads and Cal Ah Chi had no chance to keep their heads last week.
“Last week he went out early in the game and he didn’t play this week, so we’re going to get penalized for that and unfortunately Cal got hurt.”
It comes after Blues boss Michael Voss said he hoped the decision to lift the ban on Friday would give players “more clarity” on how they will go into the competition.
Voss, who initially said he didn’t think Cripps had a case to answer, played “as expected” despite a flurry of arguments from the footy community.
I hope it provides more clarity in some ways. “We always feel that as a player you have the ability to compete for the ball,” Vos said on Friday.
“That was the first impression we had and we expected that. We felt that interpretation was going to come out that way.
“The game still lends itself to a fair contest and that hasn’t changed. The rules say so and we read the rules and interpreted the situation and followed that.
“Maybe that gives everyone more clarity, but the reality is we feel like we have a really good case.”