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AFL Makes Nice Fine Haul from Weekend Test Games

Aussie Rules footballers apparently treat the early club-on-club trials as important.

Our evidence comes from the number of players fined and/or banned from play weekend past.

A high head bump by Roos’ Marley Williams of Western Bulldogs’ Ed Richards found the league offering Williams a two-game ban. Williams was reported on site. None of this waiting on the tribunal business. Match review officer Michael Christian took immediate action.

Christian ruled that the collision was high impact and high contact.

The AFL could be intent on sending the message to the players, or this could be another example of pre-season officiating taking the letter of the law for the moment, and then getting lax as the season wears on.

Adelaide Crows midfielder Matt Crouch received an offer of a $3,000 fine for rough conduct from a block that left Melbourne onballer Clayton Oliver stunned.

Crouch was offered a 50 percent discount to $2,000 for an early guilty plea.

Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko and his teammate Connor McFayden both found the AFL conducting a raid on their pocketbooks.

Zorko was fined $4,000 for misconduct.

Dayne. Being naughty in a pre-season game is not the best example of leadership.

Zorko left the Mark of Zorko on Port’s Kane Farrell close to a boundary line, which resulted in Farrell colliding with a trainer. Zorko could get off with $2,500 for an early guilty plea.

The size of Zorko’s fine was the maximum permissible, due to this being his fourth offense. In some codes, mistakes from the previous season are expunged, with players given a clean slate, but the AFL does not reset the clock to zero, Zorko.

McFayden’s infraction was ruled careless, low impact and high contact. He was offered a $3,000 fine with a discount to $2,000 for an early guilty plea.

The AFL has devoted much discussion to player safety. Players would prefer to look forward to good health in the decades following their playing careers.

The speed of the game means that there are going to be unintentional collisions of the sort the weekend offered, so it is a blurry line that influences the decisions over what is proper and what is not.