Geelong’s Jake Kolodjashnij insists he has no animosity towards Bayley Fritsch despite feeling a “double action” in the tackle that could land the Melbourne forward in hot water.
Fritsch gave away a free kick for a dangerous tackle when he slung the Cats defender to the turf during the final quarter of Thursday night’s match at GMHBA Stadium.
The incident will be assessed by the match review officer amid the AFL’s crackdown on sling and dump tackles that put players at risk of head injuries.
The league has generally taken a tougher stance on tackles where two actions have been used to take a player to ground.
Kolodjashnij’s head appeared to hit the ground in the Fritsch tackle but he was not seriously hurt.
He got up to take his free kick immediately and played out the rest of the Cats’ 15-point win.
“I was fine,” Kolodjashnij told AAP.
“I probably felt that double-action in the sling but the incident was fine.
“They’re pretty hot on that at the moment – protecting the head – so it is what it is.”
A grading of careless conduct, medium impact and high contact would result in a one-match suspension for Fritsch, who is Melbourne’s leading goalkicker this season.
Kolodjashnij’s teammate Jack Henry was nearby when the incident occurred but no Cats players remonstrated with Fritsch.
“I was just full of adrenaline and ready to move on to the next contest,” Kolodjashnij said.
“I was over it straight away.”
The crackdown on dangerous tackles has led to 23 players being suspended over the opening 14 rounds of the season.
“They’re really trying to do the right thing with all the noise that’s going on with concussion stuff at the moment,” Kolodjashnij said.
“It’s hard to adjudicate. I feel sorry for the umpires, to be honest.
“It’s a tough one to pay in the heat of the moment but the AFL is definitely heading in the right direction with looking after the head and looking after the players.”
Clash of the Cats: Gary Rohan makes accidental contact with Jeremy Cameron during Thursday night’s match (Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)