Gary Ablett collects Sam Wright in Round 8.
Gary Ablett collects Sam Wright in Round 8.

Legend slams AFL’s double-standard

HAD it been Mitch Robinson and not Gary Ablett who raised an elbow to Sam Wright, the Lion would have received a suspension.

That's the view of Hawthorn champion Dermott Brereton, who claims Ablett was let off lightly by Match Review Officer Michael Christian.

For the second week in a row, the Geelong champion received a reprieve for an act many - including Brereton - considered illegal, leading the five-time premiership player to suggest rules weren't always applied equally.

"I am rapt Gaz is playing good footy and it looks like he's loving his footy, which is fantastic," Brereton said.

"There's no malice in that young man. None. But he's got the action wrong two weeks in a row.

"You just cannot allow that action to survive unpunished."

Asked if a player, such as hot headed Brisbane midfielder Robinson, would be treated in a similar fashion, Brereton replied: "He probably goes."

Fellow Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall echoed Brereton's sentiments, saying Ablett's act was only looked upon leniently because Wright wasn't injured.

Dermott Brereton doesn’t believe Mitch Robinson would have been let off for a high elbow. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Dermott Brereton doesn’t believe Mitch Robinson would have been let off for a high elbow. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

But given Ablett had been cited for a similar incident against Essendon's Dylan Shiel the weekend prior, Dunstall suggested the look was problematic.

"Fortunately no one has been hurt," Dunstall said.

"But do we have to wait until a jaw is broken until we stamp out the act? Because a lot of the rules that come into our game are designed to stamp out particular parts of play that we don't want to see in the game.

"I was happy to see him let off the first week because he has such a brilliant record.

"But then he's almost flaunted it in the face. The very next week he's done the same thing."

Ablett hits Dylan Shiel high during their Round 7 match. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Ablett hits Dylan Shiel high during their Round 7 match. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Brereton was also prepared to give Ablett some slack, saying the problem was not necessarily in his action, but the rule - or lack thereof - that excused it.

"It's not Gary's fault at this point in time," he said.

"It's the rules because there's no injury sustained."