Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield will miss three AFL games for his hit that left Adelaide’s Jake Kelly with a concussion and a broken nose.
- Dangerfield’s defence attempted to get the impact downgraded from “severe” to “high”
- The jury only deliberated for 18 minutes before deciding the initial grading was right
- Dangerfield’s team also highlighted that it was an “incidental” head clash, not Dangerfield’s shoulder, that did the damage
The 2016 Brownlow medallist was cited for his bump on Kelly last weekend.
Dangerfield’s legal team pleaded guilty to rough conduct but challenged the grading of the impact, wanting it downgraded from “severe” to “high”.
Part of the defence from Dangerfield’s team was reading out definitions of the word “severe”, including the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries, and asking Siri for a definition.
The jury only needed 18 minutes to come to the conclusion that the Match Review Officer’s initial grading for the level of the impact was right.
Dangerfield’s lawyer, Ben Ihle, said his client used the correct bumping technique in staying low and tucking his elbow in, but the AFL pointed out how quickly Dangerfield was moving and the fact that he had both feet off the ground at the point of impact.
Dangerfield’s legal team tried to draw a distinction between incidents where a player’s shoulder or arm hit a player in the head, as opposed to this bump, where the damage was caused by a head clash.
“Mr Dangerfield accepts that in the modern game when a player bumps another player they accept responsibility for the consequences,” Ihle told the tribunal.
“He accepts there was accidental and incidental contact between their heads.”
Ihle said that the impact between the pair’s heads was actually lessened by Dangerfield using good technique and asked jurors only to look at the force of the collision between their heads, not Dangerfield’s initial bump to Kelly’s body.
AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson said: “You certainly shouldn’t conclude that the hard skull produces a lesser impact than if it was the fleshy shoulder.”
Ihle asked the jury not to put too much stock in the fact that Kelly ended up with a broken nose.
He said the nose was “sensitive and vulnerable” and the fact that it broke was not an indicator of the severity of the impact.
Dangerfield will miss next week’s blockbuster rematch against preliminary final opponents Brisbane, as well as a grudge match against Hawthorn and a clash with the Demons, before being eligible to return in round five against North Melbourne.