Carlton defender Lachie Plowman has failed to overturn a two-game AFL suspension for concussing Hawthorn star Jaeger O’Meara.
After deliberating for 35 minutes, an AFL tribunal jury upheld the rough conduct charge from the last quarter of Saturday’s match at the MCG.
The AFL’s legal counsel Jeff Gleeson argued it was not reasonable for Plowman to contest the ball and he had a duty of care to protect O’Meara.
The Hawks vice-captain was assisted from the field and will miss this week’s game against Gold Coast under concussion protocols.
“O’Meara was vulnerable and had no way of knowing Plowman was coming from behind or the right,” Gleeson told the tribunal.
Carlton lawyer Peter O’Farrell stressed contact was incidental and part of a reasonable attempt by Plowman in the marking contest.
“The collision resulted from the courageous act of both players and they only had eyes for the ball,” O’Farrell said.
“It was not a reportable offence.”
Plowman also gave evidence, saying he had eyes only for the ball kicked by Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell and to punch it away from O’Meara.
After the jury’s verdict, O’Farrell pleaded for them to consider exceptional circumstances because of Plowman’s “exemplary” record during his career and reduce the two-game ban.
But that was of help to the 26-year-old, who will still miss games against Sydney and West Coast.
It is the first of three tribunal hearings on Tuesday night, with Richmond’s Marlion Pickett and Gold Coast utility Nick Holman to follow the marathon Plowman case.
Pickett is contesting his one-game ban for striking Brisbane defender Brandon Starcevich, while Holman is challenging a two-game suspension for a dangerous tackle on Geelong star Mitch Duncan.