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'Unsociable football': Vince sidelined for Betts biffo


Melbourne’s AFL discipline problem continues to rear its head with former Crow Bernie Vince copping a two-match suspension after another fiery clash with his old side – but Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall can see an upside for the Dees.

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The seventh-placed Demons won’t challenge the ban to the veteran midfielder for a behind-play incident, with Vince accepting the two-game ban for elbowing Adelaide’s Eddie Betts during Saturday night’s game in Darwin.

The incident was classed as intentional conduct with low impact to the head, but Vince’s bad record – including being suspended for a similar incident in round one – meant the sanction was inflated.

Vince also accepted a $1000 fine for a head-high bump on Richard Douglas in the second quarter.

Hawthorn were famous for playing “unsociable” football during their premiership dynasty under coach Alastair Clarkson, and Dunstall believes the Dees can benefit from maintaining a similarly aggressive style.

“It’s not great, but I see a lot of similarities between this and what Hawthorn went through when they were becoming a very, very good team,” Dunstall said on Fox Footy.

“If you remember back to when it was branded ‘unsociable football’ – the coach wanted them to play uncompromising, tough, aggressive football.

“Players don’t always get that right, and some struggle to find the balance between being tough and aggressive without transgressing, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.

“It means some of the others have got to step up, but it brought them all together and made them a very hard team to beat.”

Vince is one of five Demons to be suspended for striking opponents off the ball this season, with Tom Bugg’s shocking knockout punch on Sydney’s Callum Mills by far the most serious.

A prone Callum Mills (bottom right) after being punched by Tomas Bugg, who received a six-week ban. Photo: Julian Smith / AAP

The AFL tribunal last month slapped Bugg with a six-game ban, the biggest handed down in more than a year.



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