Port coach slams press over Lade report - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port coach slams press over Lade report

By Steve Larkin and Adam Cooper 15/09/2003 07:26:59 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide AFL coach Mark Williams believes ruckman Brendon Lade is a victim of trial by media after being reported on video evidence for engaging in rough play.

Lade was booked by umpire Scott McLaren for putting his knee into the side of Essendon captain James Hird in Port's semi-final triumph at AAMI Stadium last Saturday night.

Lade will face the AFL tribunal on Tuesday and if suspended, will miss the chance to play his 100th game in Saturday's preliminary final against Collingwood at the MCG.

While a suspension could pave the way for Port skipper Matthew Primus to return, Williams was upset by the amount of scrutiny the Lade-Hird incident received.

Photographs of the clash have been prominent in newspapers and former player and coach Robert Walls, calling the game on television, said at the time Lade had "nothing else but the intention of driving the knee into James Hird".

Williams said: "I was obviously disappointed with the amount of direct media attention to an aspect of the game.

"I saw Peter Burgoyne get tried in the media before it actually occurred."

Burgoyne was suspended for three games for a `spear tackle' on West Coast's Daniel Kerr in round 16 - an incident widely condemned before the tribunal hearing.

Williams was confident Lade was not guilty of an offence for jumping into Hird during a ruck contest.

"I'm very confident that if you watch the way Brendon rucks in the centre square, it is exactly the same," he said.

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