Brennan and Bulldogs likely to
appeal suspension on Grand Final eve
It seems excessive that Katie Brennan's two-week
suspension for rough conduct should affect her ability
to play in this weekend's AFLW
Grand Final between the Brisbane Lions and the
We offer no defense of Brennan and we are not Bulldogs
supporters. We have no opinion whether her crime was
worthy of a two-week sus-pension, or should be three
or even more.
What we do object to is an infraction committed in
the course of home-and-away play being enforced for
finals play. Head to heading betting on the game has
Western Bulldogs favourite at $1.70 and Brisbane at
$2.17 - Bookmaker
The punishment should equal the crime. An eye for
an eye and all that.
In the AFL, however, our view is not standard operating
procedure and it is possible for a player to cop a
ban in the pre-season that impacts his or her ability
to play when premiership points are on the line.
There was the entirely laughable incident involving
Port Adelaide player Robbie Gray's brush of the Eagle's
Jeremy McGovern in JLT Community Series action that
will force Gray to miss Round 1 when the Power plays
the Fremantle Dockers. We do not think that McGovern
was guilty of staging, but the contact was negligible.
The Bulldogs' legal team is mounting a defense to
try to restore Brennan's eligibility for the Grand
Final. An appeal seems imminent. Her lawyer Sam Norton
has four possible grounds he can pursue to get the
A. That the decision to suspend her was an error
B. That it is a manifestly excessive sanction.
C. That it is a manifestly excessive classification.
D. That the decision was so unreasonable that no
tribunal acting reasonably could have come to the
decision it did.
Would that there could be an "E," All of the Above.
Brennan was banned for what the tribunal described
as rough conduct classification of high, low impact
and careless conduct. Her lawyer does not intend to
mount an objection to the charge. His defense seems
to rest on the assertion that an incident graded as
low impact but still rep-resent excessive force is
Brennan herself is obviously deeply distressed at
the possibility of missing out on playing finals over
something that happened during premier points play.
Speaking to the media outside the tribunal gathering,
Brennan said, "I'm gutted with the decision but I'll
support the club in whatever they choose to do going
forward," Brennan said. "We've proved that the girls
don't need myself out on the field to win games and
I'll back them 100 per cent and also be able to play
a really important role on gameday."
Once upon a time, two kids got together on a pitch
and figured things out for themselves. Rules were
established, often thought up on the fly, and rules
were changed when those rules proved unduly restrictive
on the main point of the game: having fun.
Now, it seems that not a single step can be taken
without an attorney present to argue the interpretation
of any and all regulations, followed by arguing in
front of courts and tribunals. This ludicrous situation
is exacerbated by what seemed like a good idea at
the time, but has now turned out to be the bane of
all professional games: incessant video re-view of
every close call in every game played.
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