The Match Review Panel was reportedly close to letting Steve Johnson off for his hit on Allen Christensen on Saturday afternoon, before a second lot of footage emerged, according to AFL 360’s Gerard Whateley.
From the available vision obtained from broadcaster Channel Seven, the MRP believed that the force Johnson used was under what was considered a reportable offence.
“They had decided that they were comfortable that in all likelihood Johnson’s fist had made contact with Christensen’s face and that the impact was below the threshold that was going to constitute a reportable offence,” Whateley said, who was a visitor to the MRP’s deliberations on Monday night.
However, at the last minute the MRP was able to obtain clearer vision of the incident from behind the goals, which showed that Johnson clearly punched Christensen in the face with a high amount of force.
“For the sake of thoroughness, they said to ask an investigator to call Allen Christensen and just ask him what happened and the secretary of the MRP left the room and said ‘I’m just going to check if there are any more angles.'”
“He walked back in with a USB stick and said ‘I’ve got the clearest view’ … the smoking gun,” Whateley reported.
But it then left Match Review Panel members asking why Johnson would effectively king hit his opponent for seemingly no reason.
AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson then revealed that Johnson “believes that he was grabbed on the scrotum.”
“That’s why he reacted, he thought he was grabbed there, he thought it was Christensen.”
Robinson revealed that before the second piece of vision came to light, Geelong was considering appealing the decision due to the alleged grab.