Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe and Geelong’s Gary Ablett will both be available to play in Round 9 after the AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian confirmed on Monday that he had decided not to suspend either player.
Star midfielder Andrew Gaff could miss West Coast’s entire finals campaign after breaking Andrew Brayshaw’s jaw with an unprovoked punch in Sunday’s 58-point win over Fremantle.
Gaff unleashed the off-the-ball punch with a swinging left fist in the third quarter of the 21.16 (142) to 13.6 (84) win after Brayshaw blocked his run.
Brayshaw dropped to the turf and lay there for an extended period, with blood pouring out of his mouth and his lip horribly cut.
The 18-year-old kept his mouthguard in, fearing that some of his teeth had been knocked loose by the punch, and was later taken to hospital.
Fremantle later tweeted that Brayshaw’s jaw had been broken.
The incident is set to be directed straight to the AFL tribunal, and it could attract a ban of anywhere from three to seven weeks.
Only three more rounds remain in the home-and-away season, with the Eagles on track to finish second.
It means West Coast may only have six games remaining in their year – even if they reach the grand final.
Gaff appeared to be crying after making his way to the bench late in the third quarter, with coach Adam Simpson coming down to comfort him.
The midfielder returned to the field in the fourth quarter, and continued to be targeted by Dockers players seeking revenge.
Gaff was eventually picked off by a fierce Michael Johnson bump, leaving the Eagle dazed and confused.
Johnson, who will retire at season’s end and was a late replacement for Joel Hamling, is set to come under scrutiny over the bump.
Gaff was able to play out the match, and was mobbed by his teammates after kicking a final-quarter goal in front of 57,375 fans.
Eagles goalsneak Liam Ryan could be in strife for a high bump on Lachie Neale.
Numerous other spotfires broke out in the second half, with the match to be remembered as the most spiteful clash between the two arch rivals since the demolition derby in round 21, 2000.
Eagles midfielder Elliot Yeo won the Glendinning-Allan medal as best afield for his 26-disposal, two-goal effort.
Gaff’s punch on Brayshaw overshadowed another impressive performance by the Eagles.
West Coast (14-5) are six competition points clear of third-placed GWS, and eight points clear of five other sides.
They take on the Power in Adelaide next Saturday, before facing Melbourne (home) and Brisbane (away).
West Coast defender Will Schofield is set for a stint on the sidelines after injuring his left hamstring in the first quarter.
Jack Darling and Jamie Cripps booted four goals each for the Eagles.