JAKE'S TAKE: Trial by club isn’t healthy

THE Ovens and Murray’s new video review system has the potential to do more harm than good.

While the league’s intention is admirable — player safety is paramount — creating a system where clubs are able to throw each other under the bus is not healthy.

When it comes to umpires and tribunals, fans want one thing.

Consistency.

That won’t happen in a system where clubs can have a say in who fronts the match review panel.

Like it or not, every club will have a different attitude about how they handle it.

Some will be keen to dob others in and others won’t.

That’s up to them.

It’s not for me to say which attitude is right or wrong, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that will be the case.

And that is a major problem.

The suspension count was already in double figures after two rounds and that tally could get even higher should anyone hand in a request before midday today.

A few videos of incidents from the weekend are doing the rounds, too, so it’s a definite possibility.

Either way, that in itself is not a good look.

Nobody wants to see ugly off-the-ball incidents.

They have no place in the game.

But a player shouldn’t be forced to front the tribunal because one club is more upset about an incident than what another club may be.

Although the league wants to show it is doing something about unfair play, the reality is it has the potential to do the opposite.

When there are multiple players fronting the tribunal every week — as has been the case so far — your average punter isn’t going to congratulate the league for tackling the issue.

Their first instinct will be to think there’s a lot of violence in the league.

There’s been outrage from clubs already and it’s only round 3.

Imagine the outcry if it costs someone the Morris Medal or a spot in the grand final?

What’s to stop a club from sitting down and watching an entire game looking for reportable incidents?

Under this set-up there will be players suspended for things that players in other games won’t be.

That is a fact.

Leave officiating to the umpires and playing to the clubs.

WHAT'S HOT?

YARRAWONGA is looking ominous.

The Pigeons somehow slipped under the radar over the summer as rivals Albury and Lavington enjoyed solid summers on the recruiting front.

But the reigning premier is going nowhere.

Brendan Fevola is arguably in the best form he’s been since he joined the club and there’s plenty coming through the ranks.

They might just be better than last year.

WHAT'S NOT?

THE fadeout from Wangaratta Rovers.

The Hawks put in a terrific first half against Lavington on Saturday but undid all that work with a sub-par finish to the game.

The Panthers kicked twice as many goals in the final two quarters.

The Hawks were 22 points up and well on track to make a statement, but once again, they left you wanting more.

Saturday’s clash at Raiders is huge for both clubs.

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