Collingwood enforcer Brayden Maynard has defended his hit on Angus Brayshaw, describing the brutal clash that ended the Demon’s night early as a “footy act”.
It comes as Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin indicated that he wasn’t happy with the incident in the aftermath of his side’s seven-point loss and labelled Brayshaw “shattered”.
Maynard jumped to attempt to smother a Brayshaw kick in the opening minutes of the match before his right shoulder collected Brayshaw in the side of the head as he landed.
Brayshaw required immediate medical attention and had to be taken off the ground in a stretcher, with the midfielder ruled out of the rest of the game.
Maynard is set to face scrutiny from Match Review Officer Michael Christian for the incident, which sparked wild scenes of retaliation led by Melbourne’s Jack Viney.
Speaking to Seven after the game, Maynard said he was confident he wouldn’t have anything to worry about as he looks to avoid suspension ahead of Collingwood’s preliminary final fixture in a fortnight’s time.
“I guess I don’t want to say too much, but it’s a footy act,” Maynard said.
“I came forward. I jumped to smother the ball and unfortunately I just got him on the way down.
“So I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
“But it’s all love. I absolutely love that guy to bits. So it’s shattering what happened.”
Goodwin said he would leave the verdict in the hands of Christian but indicated he believed it required a review.
“That will be sorted out during the week. But we’ve got a pretty shattered player in there,” he said.
“You can only go by the facts – he jumped off the ground and knocked a guy out. So I guess time will tell.”
Goodwin said Brayshaw was “upset” in the rooms after the game.
“He’s obviously had a history with concussion a long time ago. So he’s obviously dealing with some emotion there,” Goodwin said.
“He wants to play finals footy and he’s going to be missing for a few weeks, so that’s disappointing.”
Magpies coach Craig McRae praised Maynard’s professionalism for having an important impact across the game in the wake of the incident, but said he wasn’t sure how the clash would be assessed.
“It didn’t look like it had much malice. But I’ll leave it up to others to decide if that’s worthy of a suspension or not,” McRae said.
Christian will make his assessment on Friday.
Seven analyst Matthew Richardson said he believed Maynard would be cleared, but was concerned that if he did have a case to answer, it could put a potential grand final berth in jeopardy.
“It’s so tough, this one,” he said. “I think if he gets rubbed out, it’s not going to be one week.”
Fellow analyst Kane Cornes agreed Maynard would get off the hook, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “Nothing else Maynard could have done there.”
Melbourne’s Jacob van Rooyen is facing scrutiny of his own after his elbow made contact with the jaw of Collingwood’s Dan McStay.
The Magpie went off the ground for a head injury assessment but returned to play out the match.