Collingwood veteran Steele Sidebottom has described teammate Brayden Maynard as a “hard and fair” player as the defender waits to learn his fate at the AFL tribunal.
Maynard was charged with rough conduct after his smothering attempt on Angus Brayshaw’s kick led to a collision between the two players that left the Melbourne midfielder knocked out.
Brayshaw will miss the Demons’ semi-final against Carlton on Friday under concussion protocols and is no certainty to return next week if Melbourne advance.
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Maynard, an All-Australian last year, was referred directly to the tribunal – with his case to be heard on Tuesday at 4pm – and faces the prospect of suspension ruling him out for the rest of minor premier Collingwood’s flag tilt.
“He was making a play at the footy and it was a footy play,” Sidebottom told reporters on Monday.
“There was no malice in it. Bruz (Maynard) is a fair player and it’s just unfortunate the way it ended.
“You’ve watched how he plays – he hasn’t really ever stepped over the line.
“When he goes out there to play, he plays hard and fair. That’s what I see from Brayden.”
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Brayden Maynard checks on Angus Brayshaw after the hit. Credit: AAP
Sidebottom said Collingwood’s main concern is for Brayshaw, who has a history of concussion issues.
But the 307-game wingman declared it “near-on impossible” to avoid some accidents occurring on the AFL field.
“The game happens so fast and there’s times when things happen that almost you can’t control,” Sidebottom said.
“It’s a 360-degree game, there’s guys coming from everywhere and sometimes it’s unfortunate that things like that happen.
“That’s the game that we play and accidents are going to happen.”
Sidebottom said Maynard being charged by the match review officer would not change the way players approach contests in future.
“Not at all. You can’t really,” he said.
“There’s rules in place and unfortunately things are going to happen that you can’t always control.”
Maynard copped it from the Demons afterwards. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
It will be a busy Tuesday night at the tribunal, with Carlton forward Jack Martin contesting a two-match ban for striking Sydney’s Nick Blakey after the Maynard hearing.
Melbourne forward Jacob van Rooyen has accepted a one-match suspension for striking Collingwood’s Dan McStay.
“Over the last three days, we exhausted all avenues and looked through all relevant material before deciding to accept the one-match suspension,” football boss Alan Richardson said.“Accepting the sanction was in line with the legal advice the club received throughout the process.”
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