Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson now wants consistency from his side after they kept their AFL top-eight hopes alive with a gritty 31-point win over Fremantle in Launceston.
Fremantle young gun Andrew Brayshaw won’t be able to eat solid food for the next four weeks after having his jaw broken by West Coast star Andrew Gaff.
Brayshaw underwent surgery on Sunday night to repair his jaw and three displaced lower teeth, which have been put back into place and splinted.
The 18-year-old has been ruled out for the remainder of the AFL season and is now at home recovering with his parents.
The unprovoked punch from Gaff has drawn widespread criticism and the Eagles midfielder is set to be suspended for at least five weeks.
Dockers players were left angered by the third-quarter incident and sought revenge against Gaff during the rest of the match.
Veteran Dockers defender Michael Johnson unleashed a high bump on Gaff that left the Eagles ace dazed.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said Brayshaw’s mum was in tears after the match.
Brayshaw’s older player Hamish is on West Coast’s list – an awkward situation given the brutal nature of Gaff’s hit and the seriousness of the injury.
The third Brayshaw brother – Angus Brayshaw – is on Melbourne’s list and was left rattled by the incident.
“Obviously ‘Gusy’ is feeling for his younger brother,” Demons captain Nathan Jones told SEN.
“He sort of felt like his hands were tied (being in Melbourne) and he was the lone ranger. I think all his family were over in Perth.
“It’s a bit of a weird situation, with Hamish playing at West Coast, and maybe even being quite close friends with Gaff.”
Gaff’s punch is set to reignite debate as to whether the AFL should introduce a red card send-off rule.
Jones said he would support the move, believing it would reduce the chances of fights erupting after an ugly incident.
“In this day and age, you don’t want all-in brawls and fights off the back of an issue like that,” Jones said.
“… Ross Lyon mentioned it with how much his senior players fired up and I think it can just boil over into something bigger than what the game wants.”
Stand-in Dockers skipper David Mundy said the players were sending Brayshaw their best wishes.
“I just hope Andrew’s OK and his family are well supported by the club,” he told 6PR.
“My immediate gut reaction and emotion is care for Andrew and his family.”