By Luke Voogt
Geelong Cats will be without key midfielder Patrick Dangerfield until their round 5 clash with North Melbourne after the AFL Tribunal suspended him for three weeks.
On Tuesday night the tribunal ruled Dangerfield’s bump on Adelaide defender Jake Kelly was careless and severe in impact.
Dangerfield initially made contact shoulder-to-shoulder after Kelly handballed but the pair clashed heads, leaving Kelly concussed and with a broken nose.
Dangerfield pleaded guilty to rough conduct but his defence team argued the impact was “high”, not “severe”.
During the hearing Dangerfield’s legal team consulted the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries and voice-recognition software Siri for the definition of “severe”.
His lawyer Ben Ihle argued Dangerfield’s use of the correct technique, staying low and tucking his elbow, lessened the impact of the head clash.
Dangerfield’s legal team highlighted that the “incidental” head clash, not his shoulder, did the damage and compared it to previous incidents where a player’s shoulder or arm instead made contact to the head.
But AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson responded: “You certainly shouldn’t conclude that the hard skull produces a lesser impact than if it was the fleshy shoulder.”
The AFL’s team pointed out that Dangerfield had both feet off the ground at the point of impact.
After 18 minutes’ deliberation the tribunal jury decided the initial impact grading was correct.
Star forward Jeremy Cameron is also set to miss at least tonight’s game after suffering a hamstring strain at training last week.
The 27-year-old felt a twinge at the end of training on March 17 and a scan revealed the strain.
Another hamstring issue sidelined Cameron for a few weeks earlier this year but he returned to training and played in the Cats’ pre-season game.