Fyfe, Ablett face nervous waits
THE Brownlow Medal market might be turned on its head on Monday when superstars Nat Fyfe and Gary Ablett face the wrath of the AFL’s match review officer.
Ablett and Fyfe could be in hot water for head-high hits at the weekend.
Fyfe collected Tom Lynch high in Fremantle’s 25-point loss on Sunday to Richmond.
Lynch had just tapped the ball forward when Fyfe came through with a raised elbow.
Luckily for Fyfe, it was his forearm rather than the point of his elbow that made contact with Lynch’s face.
Lynch wasn’t badly hurt by the hit, and Fyfe would be hoping to escape with a fine at worst.
Ablett finds himself at the centre of attention for a second-straight week.
The 34-year-old was initially handed a one-match ban for his head-high hit on Dylan Shiel in round seven, before having it overturned on appeal.
His latest head-high hit – this time on North Melbourne’s Sam Wright – might also attract a suspension from match review officer (MRO) Michael Christian.
Wright had just disposed of the ball when Ablett rushed in, jumped and reached out to block the defender’s path.
Ablett’s outstretched arms caught Wright in the face.
Wright was able to get up immediately, but it is up to Christian to determine whether the incident deserves a suspension.
Geelong coach Chris Scott is confident Ablett will escape suspension.
“Across the competition for a long period of time – I’m talking 10 years at least – most clubs have coached making sure you block the runner so he doesn’t get the overlap handball,” Scott said.
“Most teams would coach players to block the player like that (raising forearm). That’s good technique as long as you get them in the chest.
“As soon as it pops up and there’s any contact to the head, then you’re in dangerous territory. Maybe we all need to rethink the technique when it comes to blocking the runner because it is clear that the MRO has decided anything like a raised forearm usually results in an intentional classification.”
Fyfe, who tallied 33 disposals, eight clearances and three goals against Richmond, sits second in the Brownlow betting market.
Ablett has also come into the Brownlow reckoning in recent weeks with a series of star displays.
Carlton’s Patrick Cripps is the favourite after his stunning start to the year.
© AAP 2019