Bye bye, Brownlow: Fyfe’s tribunal appeal fails

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    Update: Nat Fyfe is ineligible for the Brownlow Medal and will miss Fremantle’s Round 12 game against Adelaide after the AFL Tribunal upheld his one-week ban for striking Levi Greenwood.

    Fremantle argued that Fyfe’s actions were careless, not intentional, but were unable to convince the jury. Fyfe’s punishment would have been downgraded to a fine if the tribunal had found in his favour, which would’ve meant he continued to be eligible for the Brownlow Medal.

    The Dockers have the option of appealing the tribunal’s decision if they wish to do so, but this is rarely successful.

    Previous: Nat Fyfe is set to front the AFL Tribunal tonight in a hearing which may well determine the fate of the 2018 Brownlow Medal. Join The Roar for live updates and the verdict tonight from 5pm AEST.

    On Monday the Match Review Officer, Michael Christian, handed Fyfe a one-game ban for striking Levi Greenwood in Fremantle’s Round 11 match against Collingwood on Sunday.

    The match review statement put it as follows:

    “Nat Fyfe, Fremantle, has been charged with striking Levi Greenwood, Collingwood, during the third quarter of the Round 11 match between Fremantle and Collingwood, played at the MCG on Sunday June 3, 2018.

    “In summary, he can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea.

    “Based on the available video evidence and a medical report from the Collingwood Football Club, the incident was assessed as intentional conduct with low impact to the head. The incident was classified as a one-match sanction. The player can accept a one-game sanction with an early plea.”

    Not only would a one-game ban mean that Fyfe was unable to take to the field in what looks like a potentially winnable game against the Adelaide Crows at home in Round 12, but it would also mean he was ruled ineligible for the Brownlow Medal.

    Fyfe has been in excellent form across the first half of the season and – if eligible – appears to be the leading contender for the medal at the moment.

    It would be his second medal, having also won the award in 2015, a season where the Fremantle Dockers finished on top of the ladder.

    Fremantle are expected to argue that Fyfe’s charge should be graded as careless, rather than intentional, which would result in the penalty being downgraded to a fine.

    That would leave Fyfe free to play, and still eligible for the Brownlow.

    Join The Roar for live updates and the verdict tonight from 5pm AEST.

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (83)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 1:23pm
      ERIC MILLER said | 1:23pm | ! Report

      The AFL Tribunal is to be congratulated for finally acting on Fyfe’s thuggery. He has got away with it for far too long, depending on his innocent looks to fool people. Play the ball, not the man.

    • Roar Rookie

      WCE said | 11:56am | ! Report

      both franklin and fyfe have been getting away with crap most other players get stung for , for ages. I’m glad he got done. it shows even one of the teachers pets isn’t guaranteed another let off.

      • 12:22pm
        johno said | 12:22pm | ! Report

        The Tom Mitchell decision was a joke

    • 8:49am
      ren said | 8:49am | ! Report

      So how did Tom Mitchell and Buddy Franklin get off on their non-strikes. Tom Mitchll especially- miles off the play.

      • 10:50am
        Perry Bridge said | 10:50am | ! Report

        I’m okay with Franklin – when you get gang tackled you have the right to be entirely focused on that ball – rather than the heads of 2 or 3 guys who – as we saw with Zaharakis – will happily slam you into the ground and end your season!!!

        Mitchell was rubbish – should’ve gone.

        I still think Burton should have had to defend his actions.

        I am glad Fyfe got the one – and glad Simpkin got off.

    • 7:54am
      IAP said | 7:54am | ! Report

      Got what he deserved. When you take away all the legalese and “intent” and “force” rubbish he whacked a bloke in the head. That’s always been worth a week.

    • 7:34am
      Aligee said | 7:34am | ! Report

      Wasnt much in it, probably out of frustration more than malice, but deserving of a week.

      Players get payed huge money, especially Fyfe, he should pull his wings in, he is Captain and a professional.

    • Roar Rookie

      Bangkokpussy said | 9:30pm | ! Report

      Amazing the hype around the Brownlow. One would think the AFLCA award or the players MVP would give a more accurate gauge of the best player. Especially as a one week suspension can prevent the best player from winning. Yes I know about the fairest yada yada. I am now talking about the best that on many occasions has not won the Brownlow. I would think the vote of ones peers would be more prestigious than some officials that may have never played the game. I think one week should not exclude Fyfe. He is a stand out player.Even if it is Freo. But what do I know I picked Freo in the final eight at the start of the season.

    • 7:27pm
      Kane said | 7:27pm | ! Report

      Simpkin’s got off, and so he should. Christian has to be stood down at the end of the year, he was supposed to make things less confusing but he’s made it worse for the average punter to work out what’s legal and what’s not.

      • 6:33am
        Stephen said | 6:33am | ! Report

        Agreed! Christian is so inconsistent and I can’t follow any of his decisions. Simpkin looks to have nothing other than contest the footy in a congested area. If they ban that behaviour our game is destroyed.

        • 11:16am
          Perry Bridge said | 11:16am | ! Report

          At least we have challenges happening this year – the best thing – in previous seasons the benefit of an ‘early plea’ and the threat of an extra week and carry over points etc was too great.

          The system rubber stamped itself without challenge.

          So far this year – we have seen some successful challenges. North have been potentially dudded twice and thankfully got them (Ziebell/Simpkin) turned around.

          I’d prefer though – that Christian defers to laying a charge – which can then be challenged. I’d rather that Ryan Burton and Tom Mitchell faced charges that could be debated/argued and downgraded or thrown out as appropriate is that’s the case.

    • Roar Guru

      AdelaideDocker said | 6:32pm | ! Report

      Giving we probably won’t be making finals, I was looking forward to seeing Fyfe potentially challenge for the Brownlow. Now that’s gone. In hindsight, there was always a good chance that this appeal was going to fail, but I’m still brutally disappointed.

      More pressingly, our hopes of an upset against the Crows just evaporated substantially. And that’s frustrating.

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