Melbourne are considering an appeal after Jack Viney’s two-match ban by the AFL tribunal for his bump on Adelaide’s Tom Lynch.
Jack Viney was found guilty of rough conduct at the AFL tribunal, with the Melbourne midfielder slapped with a controversial two-match ban for his bump on Adelaide’s Tom Lynch.
The case lasted more than two hours on Tuesday and the three-man panel took 19 minutes to deliberate and conclude Viney had opted to bump Lynch instead of bracing for contact in the collision.
This had been the central point of contention throughout the hearing, in which Viney and Alex Georgiou gave evidence about the incident that left Lynch with a broken jaw.
Hawthorn icon Dermott Brereton, speaking on radio station SEN after Viney was suspended, vowed he would not attend the AFL Hall of Fame ceremony this year in protest against the verdict.
“I am staggered. I’m really disappointed,” Brereton said.
“I can’t withdraw from footy because I’m on contract, but … I’m in the Hall of Fame and I love going to those functions.
“That can get stuffed this year. I’m not turning up to their (AFL) functions. This is just fundamentally wrong.”
Viney will miss games against the Western Bulldogs and Richmond, although Demons football operations boss Josh Mahoney said the club was considering an appeal.
“We’ll look at what options we have,” Mahoney said.
“We won’t be doing an appeal for appeal’s sake, but certainly – if we think there’s some grounds there – we’ll be taking that avenue.”
Viney gave evidence that he had suffered three concussions and a broken jaw in the past and, in response, Demons coach Paul Roos, who was in attendance, had trained him to protect his head in clashes.
Viney added this was an example of that and AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson was sympathetic, saying there was no malice from the on-baller and that it was up to the panel to decide whether he was bracing for contact or deliberately bumping Lynch.
Despite Lynch suffering a broken jaw, the panel determined the impact to be medium instead of high or severe.
A number of past players, including Brereton, had made public pleas for the AFL to clear Viney on Monday after he was referred directly to the tribunal by the match review panel.
The discontent continued on Tuesday night, with Sydney Swans champion Jude Bolton labelling Viney’s suspension a “deplorable state of affairs” on Twitter.
Richmond playmaker Brett Deledio was found guilty of striking Geelong’s Mathew Stokes in the night’s second case, but avoided suspension.
Player advocate Michael Tovey QC successfully had Deledio’s elbow on Stokes downgraded from intentional to reckless, meaning he will not miss the side’s clash with the Demons.
Deledio’s good record means his tally of 125 demerit points was reduced to 93.75.
“I’m very happy I’m playing … I was just playing the game,” Deledio said while exiting the tribunal.