The Brayden Maynard smother that split the footy world and lit the fuse for a fiery opening to the finals series has landed the Collingwood enforcer at the tribunal.
Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw was knocked out and carried off the ground by a stretcher in disturbing scenes at the MCG in Thursday night’s qualifying final after an incident where Maynard attempted to smother before clattering into him.
In a call that stretched out to within an hour of tonight’s second final, Maynard’s case has been referred directly to the tribunal.
It means he will either be available to play in the club’s preliminary final in a fortnight’s time or will miss at least three weeks — a move that would rule him out of a grand final, should Collingwood make it.
Brayshaw was kicking forward from a centre-bounce as Maynard approached him, the Magpies defender turning his shoulder towards the Demon as he flew towards him in the air.
West Australian forward Jacob van Rooyen will miss the Demons’ must-win semifinal clash, handed a one-week ban for an elbow to the face of Dan McStay just minutes after the Maynard incident.
Melbourne lost Brayshaw within the opening minutes of a game they would go on to lose.
He left the ground with a neck in a brace, but offered a thumbs up to the 92,000 strong crowd and was soon walking around Melbourne’s change-rooms.
The clash divided opinion on Thursday night, many arguing Maynard was simply bracing for contact, with other experts called for him to be handed a significant ban.
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin was forthright in his post-match assessment of the clash.
“Look, you can only go by the facts: he jumped off the ground and knocked a guy out,” he said.
“So I guess time will tell.”
Maynard also spoke immediately after the match, defending the incident as a “football act”.
“I came forward, I jumped to smother the ball and yeah, unfortunately I just got him on the way down,” he said.
“So I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Speaking on radio on Friday, close friend and teammate Christian Petracca said Brayshaw’s condition had improved.