ST Kilda defender Nathan Brown will miss the remainder of the season after he was suspended for three games for his bump that concussed Essendon speedster Adam Saad.
The suspension means he will also miss the start of the Saints’ 2018 campaign.
Brown had pleaded not guilty to intentionally engaging in rough conduct against Saad in the opening term of last Friday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium in an attempt to reduce the grading to careless and thus earn only a two-game suspension.
In pleading not guilty, Brown said his team mates were making ‘little to no ground’ on Saad and that he believed he had to ‘somehow slow Adam’ so he didn’t regain the ball.
“My sole intent was to stop Adam from following up the ball,” said Brown at the witness stand.
Brown’s statement was supported by the officiating umpire, Jacob Mollison, who said it was his belief that Saad could ‘absolutely’ still influence the play before being bumped by Brown.
But, the AFL’s legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson QC, told the tribunal that the ball was ‘considerably’ more than five metres away at the time of impact, also contending that Brown had a clear view of Saad and could have avoided contact altogether had he tried to do so.
The AFL Tribunal deliberated for just nine minutes before upholding Match Review Officer Michael Christian’s assessment of the incident and handing Brown a three-game sanction.
“I wholeheartedly accept the findings of the tribunal tonight and thank them for their time,” Brown said afterward.
“Again, I apologise to Adam and his family. Hopefully he can take the field for Essendon this week.”
St Kilda locks horns with Hawthorn and North Melbourne to round out its 2018 season.
As previously reported on Sports Central, Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker also won’t play again this season after accepting a two-game suspension for a dangerous tackle that concussed Greater Western Sydney star Josh Kelly during the third term of last Saturday’s match at UNSW Oval in Canberra.
Meanwhile, six players accepted financial sanctions imposed from incidents arising from round 21.
North Melbourne forward Jarrad Waite is $3,000 lighter in the hip pocket after accepting his penalty for engaging in rough conduct against Western Bulldog Jackson Trengove during the opening term of last Sunday’s contest at Etihad Stadium.
Waite’s team mate, Trent Dumont, has accepted a $2,000 fine for engaging in rough conduct against Ed Richards in the same game.
Bulldogs veteran Dale Morris will dish out $2,000 after accepting his penalty for tripping North youngster Jy Simpkin.
Melbourne young gun Clayton Oliver has accepted a $1,000 fine for making careless contact with an umpire during the first-quarter of last Sunday’s 11-point loss to Sydney at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while Swans midfielder Dan Hannebery will have $1,500 less in his bank account after accepting his sanction for misconduct against Demon James Harmes.
Port Adelaide’s Aidyn Johnson, meanwhile, has accepted a $2,000 fine for engaging in rough conduct against West Coast defender Tom Cole.