NORTH Melbourne will have to get the job done against Essendon in the Good Friday clash without Luke McDonald after the defender was unsuccessful in challenging his one-game suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
McDonald had been hit with the one-game ban after his late spoil on Chayce Jones left the Adelaide youngster with concussion over the weekend.
The Kangaroos’ lawyer, Rob O’Neill, argued that McDonald’s conduct wasn’t unreasonable in the circumstances and that contact with Jones’ head was incidental.
Mr. O’Neill also argued the contact should be graded as low rather than medium.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” said McDonald afterward.
“I thought we had a pretty good case to get off, but I just hope that Chayce is alright and that he can get up this weekend.”
“I’m really disappointed. This week is a massive day for the club and I want to be out there.”
An Adelaide medical report tendered as evidence said that Jones was treated for concussion, and was expected to miss up to five days of training and potentially Sunday’s game against Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval. According to the AFL’s legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson QC, that was enough to constitute a medium impact grading.
While Gleeson admitted that McDonald was initially a legitimate chance to reach the contest, he should have realised at a point that he ‘could and should’ have stopped given a point had been reached where there was no reasonable chance of him spoiling the ball.
North countered by suggesting the vision showed McDonald ‘continued to reach’ toward the ball in an attempt to spoil, making incident contact with the head.
O’Neill also suggested Jones may have suffered whiplash during the contest which could have resulted in his concussion.
But, North Melbourne’s bid to get McDonald ultimately proved to be a fruitless exercise.
The one-game sanction was initially handed down by Match Review Officer Michael Christian after the incident was classified as careless conduct with medium impact to the head.
Meanwhile, Carlton midfielder Will Setterfield will miss games against the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn after accepting his two-match ban for a dangerous tackle that concussed Suns youngster Wil Powell.
Geelong duo Esava Ratugolea and Joel Selwood, Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers, Richmond pair Kamdyn McIntosh and Tom Lynch, Power players Dan Houston and Dougal Howard and Kangaroos Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington all accepted financial sanctions arising from incidents in round four.