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Monday, February 5, 2018

AFLW: Did Collingwood Magpies player Sarah D'Arcy get off lightly for groin kick?

The AFL's new sheriff has used beefed-up discretionary powers to slap Collingwood's Sarah D'Arcy with a two-match ban for kicking.
AFL match review officer Michael Christian replaced the maligned match review panel in the off-season after a review by league footy boss Steve Hocking.
D'Arcy's report for kicking Carlton's Sarah Hosking in the groin in an ugly incident at Ikon Park on Friday night was the first test of the new disciplinary process.
The Pies' forward risks a three-game suspension if she takes her case to the tribunal and is unsuccessful.
Under the old system, D'Arcy would have escaped with a one-game ban had it been put through the MRP's rigid penalty matrix.
"Ordinarily it would have leant itself to being low impact, but I've decided to upgrade the impact to medium with the potential to cause a more serious injury," Christian explained to reporters on Monday afternoon.
"Sarah Hosking was distressed but she was able to get up, take her kick and play on."
The sanction would appear to be on the lenient side given the AFL's history of taking a dim view of incidents that show the game in a bad light - widely known as the 'look' or 'optics'.
"It's not a good look for any game," Christian replied when asked if D'Arcy's act deserved a longer ban.
"But I think taking into account the fact that Hosking was able to take her kick and play on and the fact that I have upgraded the impact from low to medium ... I feel comfortable with the decision."
D'Arcy's actions sparked debate about how long a male AFL player would be suspended for if he committed a similar act.
With the AFLW season run over just seven rounds, the relative severity of bans handed down are amplified in comparison, but Christian was adamant a male player would have received the same punishment.
The old match review panel made its assessments independent of AFL influence, but Steve Hocking now signs off on decisions made by Christian.
In the only other charge laid, Western Bulldogs skipper Katie Brennan can accept a reprimand for rough conduct on Fremantle's Stephanie Cain.
The Bulldogs' Bonnie Toogood was cleared of wrongdoing in a collision with the Dockers' Ashlee Atkins during the Dogs' 26-point win at Whitten Oval.