Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard will face the AFL tribunal for his hit on Angus Brayshaw in Thursday’s qualifying final victory.
Maynard was placed on report in the first quarter of the Magpies’ win over Melbourne, after he collided with Brayshaw while airborne, trying to block a kick.
Maynard’s shoulder collided with Brayshaw’s head. The Demons midfielder — who has had previous problems after several concussions, and has worn a helmet for several seasons — was laid flat on the ground without moving for a minute.
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After being treated by medical staff he was taken from the ground on a stretcher.
The Demons were running forward out of the middle when Brayshaw attempted to kick downfield.
Maynard left the ground in an attempt to block the kick, Brayshaw got the ball off and the Magpies player’s momentum carried him forward through the air.
In a rare move, a release from the AFL confirmed that the executive general manager of football, Laura Kane, and match review officer Michael Christian laid the charge against Maynard.
As with all cases sent directly to the AFL tribunal, Maynard now faces a suspension of three weeks unless Collingwood can overturn the decision.
Collingwood have a maximum of two games left in their season, so as things stand they will be without the defender up to and including the Grand Final, if they make it.
In the aftermath of the incident, Maynard told Channel Seven:
“I don’t want to say too much, but it’s a footy act. I came forward, I jumped to smother the ball and yeah, unfortunately I just got him on the way down.
“So I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
The AFL has had an ongoing debate over the rules relating to high contact amid growing concerns over the incidence of concussion.
The question of what makes a “football act” and what is a dangerous action worth penalising has been argued at the tribunal and the appeals board this season.
Another incident from the Magpies — Demons qualifying final has led to a charge, with Melbourne forward Jacob van Rooyen facing a one-week ban for a high elbow on Collingwood’s Dan McStay.