JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Gary Ablett's Brownlow could be hanging in the balance

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Suns smash Bulldogs

Gold Coast Suns rocket into the top four with a 45-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium.

PT0M0S 620 349

The bump doesn’t need to involve high-profile players to be topical – Jack Viney proved that – but the presence of superstars Gary Ablett and Luke Hodge among the weekend’s high-contact incidents all but ensures more intense focus on the match review panel this week.

As does an incident involving Ablett that would, if taken seriously,  throw the Brownlow Medal count into chaos.

Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett could be scrutinised by the match review panel for this off-the-ball blow to Western Bulldogs' Liam Picken.

Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett could be scrutinised by the match review panel for this off-the-ball blow to Western Bulldogs' Liam Picken. Photo: Channel Seven

Ablett was the aggressor in an incident with the Western Bulldogs’ Liam Picken on Sunday that has the potential to threaten his eligibility for this year’s Brownlow, for which he is the raging favourite.

The incident involving Ablett and Picken was reminiscent of an incident four years ago in which Carlton’s Chris Judd was cleared for throwing his elbow back into the face of Matthew Pavlich. While that blow drew blood, and was still deemed too minor to warrant a charge, Ablett’s did not, as he lay on the turf with Picken behind him. It seemed likely, but not certain, that Ablett made high contact to Picken.

An offence that draws a base penalty of more than 100 points makes that player ineligible for the Brownlow. If Ablett is cited and is deemed to have been reckless and made high contact, it would trigger a 125-point penalty.

Bulldog Adam Cooney makes forceful contact with Gary Ablett.

Bulldog Adam Cooney makes forceful contact with Gary Ablett. Photo: Channel Seven

The Gold Coast captain was also the victim in a contest that resulted in fellow Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney being reported for forceful front-on contact.

Hawthorn captain Hodge is likely to be scrutinised for a bump intended for the shoulder of Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard that slid up and caught his opponent high.

Hawthorn’s Taylor Duryea is also set to be investigated for a shirtfront on Port Adelaide’s Kane Mitchell – which was hailed by retired Richmond forward Nathan Brown as ‘‘the perfect bump’’ – because it seemingly involved some contact to his opponent’s head.

Another kind of contact: Adam Cooney presents Gary Ablett the Brownlow in 2009.

Another kind of contact: Adam Cooney presents Gary Ablett the Brownlow in 2009. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Cooney was reported for an incident not dissimilar to last weekend’s collision between Sydney’s Dan Hannebery and Essendon’s Michael Hurley, for which the Swan was exonerated by the panel.

As Ablett bent down to collect the ball, Cooney approached low from the side, almost as a slide, and made contact with Ablett’s head. Ablett received a free kick and Cooney was reported by Mathew Nicholls.

One factor that may go against Cooney is that Ablett, unlike Hurley,  did not fumble the ball, and only relinquished it after the collision.

Dogs coach Brendan McCartney was confident Cooney would escape suspension. ‘‘We all know, everyone in Australia now knows, that a visit to the tribunal or a suspension hinges sometimes on one or two centimetres, up or down or sideways, and there’ll be more adjudication and more talk about it, but I think there was a nice precedent set last week,’’ he said.

Even if Cooney is charged, he is unlikely to face suspension because he would benefit from a 25 per cent discount for his unblemished record over the past six years.

A grading of negligent low impact and high contact would trigger a penalty of 125 points, which would be reduced to 93.75 – within the reprimand threshold – even before the option of a further discount for a good record. A higher penalty – a two-match ban that could be cut to one – would most likely require Cooney’s act to be deemed reckless.

Hodge could be scrutinised for an incident in which he made no attempt to gather the ball but instead elected to bump Wingard.

 He could escape a ban if the panel deems most of the impact was to Wingard’s shoulder and the secondary high contact warranted the free kick he received.

If Hodge is charged, a reprimand would be out of the question because of 60 carry-over points he accrued last year.

If his teammate Duryea is charged for his bump on Mitchell, which similarly seemed to involve most impact being below his opponent’s head, a classification of negligent, low impact and high contact would allow him to make a guilty plea to downgrade a one-match ban to a reprimand.

Besides the bumps, the panel is also set to make judgments on a number of petty off-the-ball strikes.

GWS’ Jeremy Cameron, Collingwood’s Jarryd Blair, and Port’s Hamish Hartlett all delivered blows to the midriff of an opponent. None of the three strikes are likely to be rated, at worst, intentional conduct, low impact and high contact.

While such a classification would be enough for Cameron and Blair to reduce a one-match ban to a reprimand, for Hartlett the base penalty of 125 would be inflated to 193.75 as a combination of his 20 per cent loading for a bad record and 43.75 carry-over points. Even with a guilty plea, he would have to serve a one-match suspension, with 45.31 carry-over points.

MATCH REVIEW PANEL  –  RD 10 PREDICTIONS
Adams (NM) rough conduct to Lonergan (Geel). No charge; no realistic alternative to gain possession.
Cameron (GWS) striking Grimes (Rich). No charge; insufficient impact.
Blair (Coll) striking M. Brown (WC). Intentional, low impact, body contact. 125 points (1 match); 93.75 with guilty plea (reprimand).
Duryea (Haw) rough conduct to Mitchell (PA). Negligent, low impact, high contact. 125 points (1 match); 93.75 with guilty plea (reprimand).
Hodge (Haw) rough conduct to Wingard (PA). No charge; insufficient impact.
Hartlett (PA) striking Hill (Haw). Intentional, low impact, body contact. 125 points up due to loading and carry-over to 193.75 (1 match); 145.31 with guilty plea (1 match suspension).
Reported: Cooney (WB) forceful front-on contact to Ablett (GC). Negligent, low impact, high contact. 125 down due to good record to 93.75 (reprimand); 70.31 with guilty plea (reprimand).

Ablett (GC) striking Picken (WB). No charge; insufficient impact.

24 comments

  • I was both impressed with the job Picken did on Ablett and very surprised to see Ablett not cope and lose it. I guess being so use to having it seem easy and the ball on a string meant come the rare time his beaten he can't cope. Still a champ though

    Commenter
    Go Blues
    Date and time
    May 26, 2014, 10:31AM
    • Duryea's bump was deemed 'the perfect bump' because it was, not because he made contact to the head. Can do without the facetious comment from a squib who has never played the game.

      Commenter
      Daniel Rhode
      Date and time
      May 26, 2014, 10:44AM
      • Read it again. It was reported because of the head contact. Nathan Brown's description as a 'perfect bump' was included as an aside.

        Commenter
        Spex
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        May 26, 2014, 3:09PM
    • If he gets wiped for this - or even a talking to, its time to give up on the AFL and take up tiddly winks...

      Commenter
      Davo
      Location
      Langers
      Date and time
      May 26, 2014, 10:47AM
      • What is the point of grumbling that someone was just that little bit not "fair" enough to win the "fairest and best" award?

        I don't hear anyone grumbling that it is a shame that someone was not a little bit "better?"

        If we weaken the rule in fairness, should we also weaken the rule on best?

        Commenter
        geoff
        Date and time
        May 26, 2014, 10:53AM
        • After young Fremantle champ Nat Fyfe was rubbed out of Brownlow contention for an accidental head clash after delivering a bump I think it will be good to see many of the other Brownlow contenders be disqualified to force the AFL to rethink either the bump and/ or if a player is really considered to not be a "fair" player.

          Commenter
          Peter
          Date and time
          May 26, 2014, 10:54AM
          • Yes I am too of the opinion that at times Ablett does not seem to cope.
            Granted he does receive a lot of attention and by the same process he appeals both openly and surreptitiously during the course of the full game.

            Commenter
            peter
            Location
            daintree
            Date and time
            May 26, 2014, 10:56AM
            • Very sorry Go Blues but the attention paid to Ablett puts Pickering into the McAffer and Crowley category. It wasn't the on ball stuff - it was the off the ball clawing and poking. It's nothing more than anti-football. Bluey put Ablett in the forward pocket halfway through the 2nd quarter to stop the double teaming on him, which is fine but the rubbish off the ball was over the top.

              Commenter
              Lolly
              Location
              Gold Coast
              Date and time
              May 26, 2014, 11:12AM
              • Isn't that their job?

                Commenter
                Catherine
                Date and time
                May 26, 2014, 11:36AM
              • As the umpire said to Ablett, "we will keep an eye on things but what we have seen double teaming is in the rules". Sorry, Ablett is my favourite player. Possibly the greatest ever. I'm to young to have seen Skilton. Fact is Picken only did what taggers have been doing for years. Ask players tagged when Tony Liberetore played what he did. Fact is Ablett so use to starring couldn't cope with being beaten. I actually enjoy seeing such star players beaten at times. Picken did his job and should grow from it.

                Commenter
                Go Blues
                Date and time
                May 26, 2014, 12:45PM

            More comments

            Comments are now closed
            Featured advertisers