Patrick Dangerfield has been whacked with a three-match ban after a dramatic AFL tribunal hearing Tuesday evening.
The AFL tribunal graded Dangerfield’s ugly bump a “severe” act of rough conduct, but the resulting penalty was in the lowest range of available punishments for the grading.
The ban means Dangerfield won’t be eligible to play until Round 5, when Geelong faces North Melbourne on April 18.
On Sunday afternoon, the AFL confirmed that Dangerfield had been referred directly to the Tribunal after Match Review Officer Michael Christian graded the frightening bump on Adelaide Crows defender Jake Kelly careless and severe.
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The hearing began with Dangerfield pleading guilty to the rough conduct charge, but arguing the grading of his incident was “high” and not “severe” in an attempt to see the suspension reduced to two matches.
However, the AFL tribunal jury of Richard Loveridge, Paul Williams and Jason Johnson ruled the contact was in fact “severe” resulting in a three-week suspension.
Dangerfield’s counsel Ben Ihle reportedly argued Dangerfield’s bump was the textbook execution of the outlawed tackle. He also cited the case of Jeremy Cameron’s sickening elbow to the head of Lions defender Harris Andrews in 2018, which left the Brisbane star with bleeding on the brain. Cameron’s contact was graded “severe” at the time and he was handed a five-match ban. Ihle argued Dangerfield’s case was much less “severe” than Cameron’s infamous hit.
The AFL’s legal representative Jeff Gleeson QC, argued the grading was correct because of the speed at which Dangerfield “pushed off” towards Kelly and how “uncontrolled” Dangerfield’s body was at the point of impact.
Jake Kelly concussed on the turf.Source:Supplied
During Saturday afternoon’s AFL game at Adelaide Oval, Dangerfield put on a late bump after Kelly had disposed of the ball, a heavy clash of heads leaving the Crow unmoving on the turf.
Kelly was attended by trainers as a chorus of boos echoed around Adelaide Oval, presumably pointed towards the Geelong stalwart.
The 27-year-old was stretchered off the ground with a broken nose and heavy concussion.
Under newly-introduced concussion protocols, Kelly will be required to miss Adelaide’s round two game against Sydney.
Dangerfield said on Monday he was simply trying to protect himself after bracing for a high-speed collision with an opposition player.
Jake Kelly leaves the ground after his head clash with Patrick Dangerfield.Source:Getty Images
Speaking to reporters after the 12-point defeat to Adelaide, Geelong coach Chris Scott said collisions were inevitable in the game.
“I haven’t looked at the vision but live my take was when you’ve got two players running full speed at each other and one player kicks the ball just before contact then the player should do everything he cannot to hurt the other player,” Scott said on Saturday.
The Cats will next face the Brisbane Lions at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium on Friday evening.
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