As a result of the AFL Tribunal’s decision not to uphold either club’s appeals, both Carlton and North Melbourne will have to play their Good Friday match without one of their suspended players.
Griffin Logue, a key defender for the Kangaroos, and Blake Acres, a player for the Blues, were both given one-game suspensions for rough behaviour on Tuesday night by the tribunal following events that occurred during round three.
Acres received his for a bump on GWS player Brent Daniels, and his argument that he was trying to smother a kick rather than bump his opponent was rejected. Acres received his for a bump on GWS player Brent Daniels.
The winger for Carlton claimed that an injury to his pectoral muscle that he had sustained earlier in the match prevented him from lifting the arm that had made contact with his opponent.
Acres’ actions weren’t unreasonable in contesting the football, according to his lawyer, who also claimed that the impact was only “glancing” and that Acres was trying to avoid making contact with Daniels because of the latter’s injuries.
The Australian Football League (AFL) claimed that Acres advanced towards Daniels rather than the ball, and that any touch between the two was not incidental to the act of smothering.
The chairman of the tribunal, Jeff Gleeson, concurred with the decision and affirmed the ban.
Acres may have planned to suffocate at one point in time, but it was not his aim just prior to or at the moment of impact, he said.
“At the very last second, he made a beeline straight for the player with the angle of his approach to the competition.”
The Kangaroos will be going up against Carlton’s twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay, and another crucial back, Ben McKay, is still sidelined with a foot injury. Logue’s suspension will make the defensive situation for the Kangaroos much more difficult.
The defence put up by Logue was that he never intended to steal the football and was only ever attempting to win it “bump Day, who was positioned so that his eyes were closed and his head was over the ball at the moment of impact.
Logue was not given a free kick for his actions, and his attorney pointed out that no Hawthorn players confronted him after the event. Furthermore, Day did not sustain any injuries.
But Gleeson was unconvinced by his reasons and maintained that he had already settled on the choice to bump.
“After at first intending to bend low and pick up the ball, (Logue) changed his mind, did not attempt to pick up the ball, but instead opted to bump,” he said. “Following that, I first prepared to bend low and pick up the ball.”
“Instead of choosing to bump, he could have and should have gone lower and closer to the ball with his hands in an attempt to pick up the ball.”
Alastair Clarkson, the coach of the Kangaroos, stated before the hearing that they would be fighting the ban for a “evaluation of the components that are permitted to be used in the game.
According to Clarkson, “in this situation, we think this is in play, and in a split-second the decision’s had to be taken,” and “the decision in our view was around (Logue) trying to protect himself more so than trying to take a player out.”