Over the weekend, two incidents sparked heated debate surrounding the MRO's decision-making. Adelaide's Matt Crouch was handed a one-match suspension for his bump on Carlton's Jack Carroll, whilst Zak Butters is free to play following his bump on Fremantle's Bailey Banfield.

The two incidents on first inspection look rather similar regarding impact, however, Match Review Officer Michael Christian has defended his decision and provided some clarity on the separate incidents.

Speaking on SEN, Christian addressed the separate incidents, citing the reasons for both outcomes. He first discussed the Matt Crouch incident and why he was handed a one-week suspension.

"The key point is about whether he has contested the ball or whether he has elected to bump. In this particular case, I feel that Matt Crouch elected to bump and therefore the action was deemed careless," said Christian.

Christian broke down the grading system and how the MRO came to their decision against Crouch, citing the potential to cause injury as their main concern.

"From there, once the action has been deemed careless, we look at impact and make some determinations about impact, and there's a couple of interesting points around impact," Christian said.

"We look at basically three key things without necessarily putting any weight on any particular item but the visual look of the force, the player impact and also critically the medical report.

"Stacking all those items up on face value came up on low impact but with the potential to cause more serious injury with the action from Crouch. There was a decision made to upgrade on the potential to cause more serious injury to medium so hence the careless, medium, high grading and one-week suspension."

Whilst Crouch was suspended, there was plenty of controversy surrounding the decision to not charge Butters. Christian broke down the Butters incident, stating the decision not to suspend him was based on the midfielder's genuine attack on the ball.

"A little differently. Zak Butters came in to contest the ball. He had both hands down, had his eyes on the ball and in fact touched the ball with his left hand, and in our judgment believed he was contesting the ball in a genuine manner," continued Christian.

"I think we've got to be very careful that we allow players the opportunity to contest the ball, it's an integral part of the way the games played and we felt that Zak Butters did that."

Host Gerard Whateley asked Christian if the decision would have been changed based on the outcome.

"I don't want to necessarily get into hypotheticals Gerard but if a player is genuinely contesting the ball, then impact is not a consideration. In terms of my process, I look at the conduct of the player's action, that's the first point," Christian reponded.

"Whether there is a case to answer as I said, whether it's a reportable offence, whether it's a careless action or whether it's an intentional action, but if a player is genuinely contesting the ball then impact is not a consideration because we don't even get to that point."

In addition to the two forceful front-on contact incidents, Christian was also questioned on Toby Greene's Round 4 dangerous tackle which didn't register a charge, offering insight into why it was viewed differently to Charlie Cameron's Round 5 tackle.

"One of the learnings from the tribunal last year that from a vulnerability standpoint if the player that is tackling lets go of the arms of the person being tackled, it allows that person being tackled to protect themselves when they're going to ground, that is akin to exercising your duty of care," Christian told SEN.

"And that's exactly what Toby Greene did in his tackle on Mac Andrew. The reverse angle clearly shows that Toby released his right arm and that Mac Andrew was able to get his right arm down to break his fall and hence there was no impact.

"That was the reasoning behind the Toby Greene decision in terms of the fact that he exercised his duty of care by letting go of Mac Andrew's right arm so he could get it down and protect himself."

"That wasn't the situation with Charlie Cameron in terms of the grading. I felt that he had Jake Lever in a vulnerable position and used excessive force in tackling him. I think the other key component was the tilting motion and the downward motion that Charlie Cameron used to get Jake Lever to ground.

"At one point Lever was above horizontal which was inherently dangerous as well, so they're the key reasons. So around vulnerability and exercising your duty of care with Toby Greene which wasn't the case with Charlie Cameron."

The Lions will be appealing the charge against Cameron ahead of their clash against the Cats.