Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett has blasted the Match Review Panel, as the system once again comes under fire.
Gibson bumped Ruggles as Isaac Smith played on after taking a mark, with the Cats’ defender standing the mark.
While Gibson’s bump was deemed to be fair when MRP results were released yesterday afternoon, as he appeared to collect Ruggles in the chest with his shoulder, it was the clash of heads which left Ruggles in bad shape.
Bartlett said more must be done to protect the player on the mark and labelled Gibson’s bump as “excessive and unnecessary”.
“The man standing the mark should not be taken out with force when the umpire calls ‘play-on’.
“Talk about being a sitting duck. Ruggles moves sideways to cover Isaac Smith when play on was called from a stop play.
— AFL (@AFL) April 17, 2017
“Ruggles was then poleaxed by Gibson, and those little birds you see in cartoons are birds flying around his head as he lay prostrate on the ground from the impact.
“All this for just standing on the mark. Ruggles could take no further part in the game and is in doubt for this week’s game.
“What a joke. The MRP said the block was not excessive for the situation.
“It sure was, for the force was excessive and unnecessary.
“Then the MRP said Gibson didn’t run a long distance to take out Ruggles. Of course not. When you want to block the man on the mark, you stay in close proximity so you can block — supposedly without force and not taking the player out.
“A player standing the mark should not fear for his safety and be blindsided and picked off.
“The MRP sadly let the game down in protecting unsuspecting players.”