Melbourne star Kysaiah Pickett is facing a nervous wait for the match review officer’s umpire after his late hit on Bulldogs star Billy Smith was reported, while Swans star Lance Franklin is preparing for a ‘holiday’ according to Fox Footy experts.
Less than a second after Smith kicked the ball inside the 50 during Saturday night’s game at the MCG, Pickett leapt into the air and appeared to make significant contact with Smith, leading to a brawl between the Demons and Dogs players.
While Smith was quick to get back on his feet and able to play the quarter-final, Pickett was flagged down by the on-field referee.
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The incident will be reviewed by MRO Michael Christian, who has not filed any charges from the first two games of the season.
Any pitfalls that are assessed by the MRO are traditionally categorized as “negligent behaviour”. And if a picket bump is deemed negligent, low-impact, and high-contact, he’ll get away with a fine.
But the MRO now has the ability to upgrade a low-impact incident to a medium-impact if the action is likely to cause injury.
Speaking on Fox Footy, Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson said the incident should have been sorted through the MRO “matrix” – rather than being sent straight to court – but Christian faced a difficult process.
“The result for Bailey is good, but when you look at the impact…that can be classified as low impact. But a centimeter to the right, he could be sent off. We obviously don’t know that, but in the end what he did was jump out of Land, bend forward, place under his chin with a little bit of his back – that’s the thing for me that’s impact and what we classify as low, medium and high.
“The score has a part to play in that, so if it’s rated ‘low’ because Billy sits and plays a quarter, I’m not sure that would suit me well.
“The business is not good, but the result is good, so it was a little lost for me.”
Triumvirate premier Kat Cameron Mooney said Beckett was fortunate that he didn’t seem to collect Smith’s flush in the head.
“Shall we continue” What could have been? I don’t think we can play the game on “what could have been.” We have to play the game, Mooney told Fox Footy.
Cozy was lucky because, in my opinion, he looked shoulder to shoulder. When he rolled Billy’s back he hit his chin. That’s probably why he had low impact and Billy got back up.
“If the shoulder is on the chin, it’s out.”
Later in the night, Franklin made great contact with Suns fullback Sam Collins.
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As Franklin chased the ball, the Swans star poised and collected Collins’ head, sending the Gold Coast player to the ground.
“He’s got a holiday,” Mooney said. “What he’ll get we’re not sure yet, but when you hit someone with your arm and really go through the ball and touch their head, they’ll have a holiday.
“This is not a good look at all. We want to protect the head at all costs.”
Johnson added, “That’s a good talking point because you’ve got a guy who keeps his feet on the ground. Yeah he hits and then Collins explodes and can go all out under the concussion base. Whereas you have Kozzy Pickett who launches himself off the ground, hits hard but Bailey Smith stays.”
“Which procedure sounds worse? To me, Pickett’s procedure seemed a lot worse than Buddy’s but we still can’t get in on Buddy either. So it’s going to turn into a very important discussion, that should be.”
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