Naitanui was handed a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Port Adelaide’s Karl Amon and appealed the charge but after a lengthy hearing, the AFL Tribunal did not overturn the suspension.
Vision of Naitanui's tackle on Amon.
Nic has been offered a one-match suspension. pic.twitter.com/965JHDmsQW
Retired St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt said it was a good tackle and Naitanui should not be penalised because he is of bigger size than Amon.
“This was a good football tackle. It was a free kick for in the back at worse,” Riewoldt said on AFL 360 last night.
“To expect Nic to make that split second decision as he was approaching Karl Amon (is unrealistic). What if it was Charlie Dixon? The ramifications would have been entirely different.
“I just think to expect the player to make that judgement in a split second is completely unrealistic.
“He didn’t sling. It wasn’t a spear tackle. Both arms weren’t pinned — one arm was free. Are we serious?
“I feel for the players. What are they meant to think when there is a split second to make a decision?”
Riewoldt also believes the match review system overall has got some problems at the moment.
“Either Michael Christian is having an absolute nightmare and he’s having an absolute shocker or the rules are wrong,” he added.
“I think based on what we’ve seen this year from the MRO and the results that have gone certain ways I’m just confused.”
The Eagles ruckman responded to the upheld appeal on twitter after the decision was handed down last night.
“Obviously disappointed but ain’t no point complaining about it,” Naitanui said.
“Starvation/homelessness are real issues. We smile and move on!”
Obviously disappointed but ain’t no point complaining about it. Starvation/homelessness are real issues. We smile and move on! Happy my boy Fraser McInnes potentially gets an opportunity 😊 #workkkkhorse #RealOne
The suspension has very much divided the footy world with some people strongly agreeing with the decision and others, such as Riewoldt, strongly disagreeing.
Blight on Naitanui's tackle: "Absolutely (it's a week). I hate it. I absolutely hate it … how would you like it if you're on the end of that tackle? How would you like visiting someone in a neck brace in hospital?"
— Sportsday SA (@SportsdaySA) May 7, 2018
Nic Nat a victim of the 2018 rule called ‘too strong, too aggressive’. Probably due a week off to rest up anyhow.
Can someone explain to me how the hell @NicNat has been suspended for a week, for that tackle. Absolute joke. Eagles must appeal.
— Campbell brown (@Browndogg_30x) May 7, 2018
I know I'm in the minority but I agree with the Nic Nat suspension, partly because this happened to me back in 2007. We have to protect the head and more importantly the neck https://t.co/L9X1RYAW2x