AFL Tribunal: Brayden Maynard, Jack Martin learn their fate – AFL News

Welcome to Zero Hanger’s live coverage of Tuesday’s AFL Tribunal hearings, where Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Carlton’s Jack Martin will both learn their playing fate ahead of week two of the 2023 finals series.

Maynard’s case will commence at 4:00pm (all times AEST) after he was referred directly to the Tribunal by the Match Review Officer, who graded his rough conduct charge on Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw during last week’s Qualifying Final as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact, resulting in a minimum three-game suspension to be argued by the AFL.

Collingwood’s next game will take place in over a week’s time in a home preliminary final, meaning a suspension of three matches will mean Maynard would miss the start of the 2024 season and potentially this year’s grand final.

Martin’s case will take place at approximately 6:00pm, or immediate following the conclusion of Maynard’s hearing.

Martin and Carlton have decided to challenge the MRO’s charge of striking Sydney’s Nick Blakey, which resulted in a two-game suspension due to gradings of careless conduct, high impact and high contact.

An upheld suspension would mean Martin is unavailable for this Friday’s semi-final against Melbourne and Carlton’s following match. A reduced ban would see Martin miss just one game through suspension, while a cleared charge would mean the Blues forward is free to play this week.

Follow each case as it happens, with live commentary and immediate verdicts provided below…

Maynard pleads case following Brayshaw collision

Andrew Woods
Ben Ihle
Jeff Gleeson (Chair), Darren Gaspar, Scott Stevens

6:52 – Ihle: It’s not the task of this Tribunal to point to things that the player COULD have done differently, rather, the question is more what the player SHOULD have done differently.

6:50 – Ihle has called on the Jury to consider the following:

  • How far forward did he jump?
  • Was it a realistic attempt to get his hand on the ball?
  • What was in his path at the time that he jumped?
  • What was he trying to do when he jumped?
  • Was this a legitimate football action?

6:48 – Ihle has mentioned the Tom Lynch-Alex Keath case from earlier this year that saw the Tigers forward free to play after facing the Tribunal.

6:45 – Ihle is now comparing the incident to two cars heading in opposite directions on a highway.

“Do we say that Car A has been careless or not acting reasonably?”

He accepts it’s “not a perfect analogy”

6:39 – Ihle has presented a number of still images, one of which includes two superimposed lines to show the line/trajectory of both players on the field from a behind-the-goal angle.

6:31 – Ihle: Maynard has 1.2-1.5 seconds between seeing Brayshaw and making contact with Brayshaw

6:23 – Ihle: We’re talking about a minute period of time in which all of that processing needs to occur, including what the likely consequences will be. If that’s the circumstances in which we’re dealing with professional football at the moment that really elevates ‘reasonable’ care in my respectful submission to something like ‘absolute’ care, or ‘strict’ care.

Ihle: Mr Maynard didn’t have the luxury of calm reflection. He didn’t have the luxury of a whole bunch of still images. He didn’t have the luxury of all the 360-degree perspectives that we have on this.

6:17 – Ihle: It is not reasonable to assume Mr. Maynard could compute all of those matters while he’s focuses on the ball

6:11 – Ihle has argued it was not inevitable for a collision to happen.

Ihle highlights that Maynard’s “centre of mass” remains straight, while his arms stretch out to the right in his smother attempt.

6:03 – Ihle highlights the ‘hovering and propping motion’ Maynard undergoes as Brayshaw approaches.

“He’s jumped off two legs, which has allowed him to jump higher and it has slowed his forward momentum.”

5:58 – Ihle: My submission is that it isn’t inherently dangerous to jump or to smother, either generally or in the specific circumstances of this case, especially when one considers the respective positions of the two players.

5:54 – Ihle: I suggest to you that when you do have a player running from the centre bounce into the forward line, what Mr. Maynard said in his evidence makes complete logical sense. He tries to affect the play. It’s obvious that he’s not going to be close enough to tackle, his only option there is to smother. 

5:52 – Ihle: When it comes to reasonableness, it comes to assessing the decisions that Mr. Maynard made is his uncontested evidence about what he was looking at during that period (when Braysahw was kicking). 

5:50 – Ihle (Collingwood) has raised the fact that Maynard was not asked if he intended to bump.

“They’re significant omissions.”

5:43 – The AFL has argued that if not deemed a bump, Maynard’s actions are still careless.

Woods: It’s an unreasonable way to act by one’s self in the circumstances

5:39 –Gleeson has asked to re-show footage of the incident, looking to dissect the ‘flinch reaction’ raised by Maynard earlier, asking the AFL, who submit that, Maynard did not ‘simply flinch’ but that ‘it was a conscious turning of the body to absorb impact’.

5:36 – Tribunal Chair Jeff Gleeson and AFL Counsel Andrew Woods have entered a back-and-forth discussion on the league’s submission around the inevitability of a collision occurring once Maynard was airborne.

5:31 – Cole’s time in providing evidence has concluded.

5:26 – Cole: It would have been very difficult to consciously change his decision

5:20 – Cole: All I’m sort of suggesting here is that based on the numbers and based on the research I think that it’s difficult to conclusively say that Mr Maynard in these circumstances would have been able to make any conscious decision to reposition his body

5:11 – Biomechanics professor Michael Cole has joined the Tribunal to provide insight and evidence

He has provided answers to eight questions via written submission

Cole supports the submission that once airborne, Maynard had no opportunity to avoid the collision

5:07 – Woods: Maynard is in a position to be fully aware that contact is coming from the time he leaps forward. He has time to position his body in the manner that he did, where Brayshaw had no time. You can tell by the shock on Brayshaw’s face when he saw what was about to occur.

5:04 – Woods: Once (Maynard’s) forward airborne trajectory was set, significant impact was inevitable.

5:01 – Woods: We’re talking about this smother, in this context. Obviously you’re allowed to smother, but in the modern game you have to think about your actions and whether the other player could suffer an injury.

4:56 – A Biomechanics professor is set to join the Tribunal shortly.

4:55 – Gleeson notes Maynard had “no, or no meaningful, decision time”

4:50 – Woods: You can see the angle and the speed of his movement that had his hands come down and braced the other player, he would have cushioned the blow … not only to the top of the body but would have slowed down the knees as well.

4:48 Woods: The player, in this situation, who wants to smother, it might just simply be too unsafe to do so. That’s my submission in relation to this action. Because of the forward motion and forward trajectory, it was probably just too unsafe of a thing to do in that situation.

Woods: Another option that was available was to make a more upright jump and not pushing himself forward in the speed that he did.

4:45 – Woods: “There are times in the modern game where you do have to pull your punches, which is just an aspect of the modern game that we didn’t used to have.”

4:42 – Woods: “Yes, there is an obligation for a player to try and smother a ball or try and smother a ball in that situation. But the question is: Is it going be safe to do it if I jump forward?

“Is the thing that I’m about to do going to risk the safety of that other player? And if the answer is yes, then you’ve got to be quick and you’re going to think about a way to do it that’s not putting that player at risk.”

4:37 – A general outline of a rough conduct charge and the definition of ‘carelessness’ is being provided by Woods (AFL).

Woods: “Maynard’s conduct was unreasonable in the circumstances.

“It’s a dangerous action and it breaches the duty of care to the other player.”

4:33 – Ihle (Collingwood) is slowly going over footage of the incident frame by frame, questioning Maynard on what he is focused on at each key moment. Maynard continues to suggest he was looking at the ball from when Brayshaw broke away to when he jumped.

That concludes Maynard’s questioning.

4:30 – Maynard: My arms come down because the ball has gone past me. I just flinched and tensed up, because I thought ‘oh shit’.

4:27 – Maynard: “With all due respect, the same outcome would’ve happened (whether he opened out his arms) because of a quick collision.

“It was a flinch reaction.”

4:25 – “I definitely remember feeling it” Maynard says when questioned on whether he made contact with the ball.

4:23 – Maynard, who is being questioned by Woods (AFL), states he would not have been able to open and stretch out his arms instead of turning his body.

Maynard confirms to Gleeson (Tribunal Chair) that he is a player who smothers a ball more than most.

Maynard: “(A smother) is what we want to happen.”

4:21 – Maynard: “I did not know what was going to happen after I clearly made a football act.”

4:09 – Maynard is now facing questioning.

Maynard says he remembers the incident, however “it happened very quicky”.

“What I saw happen was Brayshaw come out of the stoppage with the ball running toward me.

“I decided to hover before going forward (toward Brayshaw). I thought I could make a decision to either tackle him or smother the ball. I decided to come forward before jumping straight in the air.

“I was coming forward pretty quickly. I thought I could smother the ball. I realised he was about to kick the ball.

“I was not (close enough to tackle Brayshaw). I felt like I could impact and smother the ball. He was (able to get his kick away).”

Maynard recalls making contact with the ball.

“When I jumped I was looking at the football.

“I then turned to land and then ‘shit’ he was there.

“I was surprised he had come into my way. You can see I’m running straight and he’s on my right side, and then he comes across me.”

Maynard concedes Brayshaw was in a vulnerable position with a player approaching him in the fashion Maynard did.

4:03 – Woods is detailing a medical report provided by Melbourne on Brayshaw. Clear concussion and loss of consciousness were detected. Went to hospital and underwent scans due to a ‘significant headache’.

A return to play is still uncertain.

4:00 – Collingwood are challenging the charge of rough conduct, and the classification of ‘careless’ conduct.

Carlton, Martin fight two-game suspension

This case is scheduled to commence at approximately 6:00pm – or immediately after the conclusion of the prior case. 

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