Both Collingwood and Carlton were successful at their respective Tuesday night Tribunal hearings across an evening that spanned six hours in total.
Magpie Brayden Maynard fronted the Tribunal for his rough conduct case after being directly referred to the Tribunal by the MRO for his collision with Angus Brayshaw with a minimum three-game ban handed down, before Carlton’s Jack Martin and the Blues’ Counsel pleaded the forward’s case following a striking charge on Nick Blakey that garnered a two-game suspension.
Read up on how each case panned out below.
Martin suspension REDUCED
Martin will remain suspended for Friday’s semi-final but will be available for Carlton’s following match, which will either be a preliminary final trip to Brisbane or the Blues’ season opener for 2024.
The Blues and Martin pled guilty to the charge of striking, as well as the conduct and contact gradings handed down by the MRO, meaning Martin couldn’t have been freed to play this week.
The Tribunal agreed that the level of impact drew stronger similarities to the examples displayed by Carlton’s Counsel, resulting in the reduced grading and therefore suspension length.
Here’s how the case played out…
9:37 – The Jury is off to deliberate. Verdict soon.
9:35 – O’Farrell has questioned a point made by Woods that interpretation has changed over recent years, with the Blues having relied on past incidents from 2021 in tonight’s hearings.
“These are the examples that you are given by the league, whether from 2021 or this week”.
9:28 – Gleeson has just questioned Woods (AFL) on why there is a difference in the gradings between the Martin and van Rooyen cases from the past week.
“A different action, different risk profile and a different part of the body (making contact)”, says Woods.
9:24 – The past five or so minutes have been mostly back and forth between O’Farrell and Gleeson following the former’s submissions around the levels of impact, force and determining the potential to cause injury.
O’Farrell: In our submission impact is not about force, force is a component. Impact is not solely about force, respectfully. Injury is your first consideration.
Note – O’Farrell always a very well-prepared Counsel for the Blues, often relies on visual presentations. Is building a strong case for Martin to have the suspension reduced.
9:11 – Carlton are now using examples of ‘high’ impact, the first being an incident from last year of Maynard on Lloyd from the pre-season.
The second is Kyle Hartigan on Sam Walsh, which left Walsh with a concussion
9:10 – O’Farrell: In regard to the potential to cause injury, there is little distinction between the van Rooyen case and Martin’s.
9:04 – Footage of a 2021 incident of Marlion Pickett on Brandon Starcevich has been raised as an example by Carlton. That incident was graded as medium impact.
The van Rooyen-McStay incident is now being used. The MRO also graded that as medium impact.
Both Starcevich and McStay underwent assessment and were subsequently cleared to play after passing tests, much like Blakey.
9:01 – O’Farrell continues his argument by detailing head injury assessments and the spectrum of injury/concern in which they are still required, suggesting a player requiring one does not always mean a high level of impact has ensued.
“If there was force at the higher end, a medical report would support this.”
8:56 – O’Farrell is now reading through the definitions of differing levels of impact gradings, relying on frameworks in place by Queensland and South Australian football leagues.
His argument implies the definition of a medium grading is more appropriate to this incident, rather than that of a high impact grading.
8:52 – O’Farrell: The way Martin’s incident was graded by the MRO “sits outside the parameters of consistency”
8:45 – Woods pleads that the grading of high impact shouldn’t be reduced because Blakey didn’t suffer a concussion as a result of the incident.
8:42 – Woods is commentating over the footage frame-by-frame, highlighting that Martin’s right hand is initially open before clenching prior to contact with Blakey’s cheek/jaw.
8:39 – Jack Martin will not be providing evidence.
8:36 – This case is off to a slow start as the Blues and Tribunal Chair Jeff Gleeson haggle on whether some of the footage put forward by Carlton should be approved as examples for the hearing.
The Maynard-Lloyd footage has been approved.
8:27 – Brayden Maynard’s name has been raised again in tonight’s second case, with an incident involving the Magpies defender on GWS player Daniel Lloyd from last year’s pre-season to also be relied on by the Blues.
The AFL has objected Carlton’s request to use the Maynard-Lloyd footage, which is not prescribed footage for the Tribunal. The AFL has objected to further unprescribed examples.
8:23 – The Blues are looking to rely on the incident between Melbourne’s Jacob van Rooyen and Collingwood’s Dan McStay from last week as part of their case. There was also no medical report available to Carlton for McStay, however they are requesting if the Tribunal will accept public knowledge that McStay passed a concussion test following the incident.
The AFL have approved the request as well.
8:17 – Jack Martin has pleaded guilty to striking, accepting the gradings of careless conduct and high contact, however is challenging the level of impact, arguing it should be ‘medium’ rather than ‘high’.
A medium grading would reduce the suspension to one game. Martin won’t be playing this week against Melbourne.
AFL: Andrew Woods
Carlton: Peter O’Farrell
Tribunal: Jeff Gleeson (Chair), Jason Johnson, Shane Wakelin
Tribunal finds Maynard NOT GUILTY
Maynard will be free to play in his side’s home preliminary final.
The AFL Tribunal found that it was reasonable for Maynard to contest in the manner he did, and that he did not engage in the act of bumping.
The AFL have the power to take the Tribunal’s decision to the AFL Appeal Board if they are unsatisfied with the outcome of tonight’s hearing.
Here’s how the case played out…
6:59 – The Jury is deliberating. Verdict soon.
6:55 – Tribunal Chair Jeff Gleeson has provided the following before deliberations:
“The AFL, and Mr. Maynard in particular, and all of those observing and ultimately hearing and reading about this matter, should understand that there’s been a lengthy and detailed analysis in slow motion, normal speed, stills from all angles.
“The second instruction is that we should bear in mind that video film shown in slow motion may give an impression that’s different to an action or actions that happen quickly in a brief period of time, we should bear in mind the difference between slow time and real time.
“This will be decided on the basis of common sense, sensible and fear viewing of the footage. I make absolutely no apologies for the fact that this has taken three hours.
“A footballer was concussed and stretchered from the MCG in a final. And another footballer has got pretty important games he’ll either play or miss, depending in part on what we decide tonight.”
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.
AFL: Andrew Woods
Collingwood: Ben Ihle
Tribunal: Jeff Gleeson (Chair), Darren Gaspar, Scott Stevens