AFL ‘duty bound’ to review rules around Brayden Maynard-Angus Brayshaw, says Gillon McLachlan

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has defended the tribunal process but says the league is “duty bound” to consider rule changes after Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard had his rough conduct charge thrown out.

Debate continues to rage after Maynard was cleared of wrongdoing over his attempted smother that left Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw knocked out.

The league felt it had no grounds to appeal against the tribunal’s decision this week but will further assess the incident over the off-season and weigh up changes around players’ duty of care for opponents.

“Clearly the AFL thought that it was worthy of suspension and we’ve got to respect the tribunal’s decision,” outgoing AFL chief executive McLachlan told reporters on Thursday.

“But when you have an incident like that, we’re duty bound to look at actually whether there can be changes or modifications that can prevent it or continue to have our players as safe as they can be out on a field, albeit that it’s a contact sport.”

Maynard leapt into the air in an attempt to smother Brayshaw’s kick — an action the Magpies and others have defended as a “football act”.

His shoulder collided with Brayshaw’s head, leaving the Demons midfielder knocked out.

Angus Brayshaw

Angus Brayshaw was knocked out in a collision with Brayden Maynard.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

Maynard was charged with rough conduct and referred directly to the tribunal by the AFL match review officer, but was ultimately cleared at Tuesday’s hearing.

Brayshaw will miss Melbourne’s semifinal against Carlton under concussion protocols, while Maynard is free to play in Collingwood’s preliminary final next week.

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