PAUL CHAPMAN TO MISS PRELIMINARY FINAL
GEELONG VETERAN PAUL CHAPMAN will miss Friday night's Preliminary Final against Hawthorn after accepting a one match ban handed down by the AFL Match Review Panel. On Monday the MRP passed judgement on Chapmans bump on Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray, deeming it reckless conduct, low impact and high contact - totally up 225 demerit points and a two game suspension. With a 25 per cent discount that reduces to a one match ban with 68.75 carry over points.
The Cats decided not to roll the dice on this one and accept the ban, with Chapman clear to play the week after should the Cats get over the Hawks and into the Grand Final. Leaving the club yesterday shortly after arriving, Chapman didn't say much but said he was frustrated and questioned whether the game has gone a bit soft.
"They have their rules and I suppose I broke them, but, you know, is the game getting softer? These are the questions you sort of have to ask but it is what it is, you can't change it.", he said. Coach Chris Scott wasn't too pleased either but tried to put the focus on the game on Friday rather than the decision.
"We're not going to challenge that one, that's not to say we agree with the decision, but I think there will be a time for the AFL as an industry to discuss the merits of these sort of decisions and the process by which they're arrived at, but that's not this week, we're focussing on the prelim final. At the (end of the) season, well after the season, I think everyone will get together and have the opportunity to have their say and I'm more than happy to comment at length at that time".
Scott floated the potential inclusion in place of Chapman, naming Billie Smedts, Josh Caddy, Jordan Murdoch and Shane Kersten. "Right at the moment, it's unfortunate and disappointing for us and for Chappy and for our supporters that he's not going to play this week but it does give an opportunity to Josh Caddy to come back from an ankle, or Billie Smedts to come in and play some footy, Jordan Murdoch, Shane Kersten. Our VFL team has qualified for a grand final as well so it's times like these we consider ourselves so fortunate to be part of a club that's participating when it really counts."
The match against Hawthorn kicks off at 7:50 on Friday night, with the VFL Grand Final starting at 2:15 on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.
AFL MRP STATEMENT