Mitchell out of Brownlow reckoning - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mitchell out of Brownlow reckoning

27/05/2008 07:39:38 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn star Sam Mitchell is out of the Brownlow Medal race but free to help extend his side's unbeaten start to the AFL season.

However Carlton defender Jarrad Waite is suspended and will be watching from the sidelines on Saturday night, although his hopes of winning the game's highest individual honour remain intact, albeit very remote.

That was the bizarre wash-up from the round nine judicial process, after Mitchell accepted a reprimand for tripping Melbourne's Simon Buckley and Waite was on Tuesday night found guilty of striking Fremantle's Chris Mayne at the tribunal.

Mitchell on Tuesday opted for aiming for team glory over individual accolades by pleading guilty to tripping Buckley at the MCG last Sunday.

His guilty plea reduced his 125 demerit points down to 93.75, which cleared him to take part in the one-versus-three clash against the Western Bulldogs at Launceston's Aurora Stadium on Saturday.

But because the initial offence drew over 100 demerit points, the gun midfielder is now out of the Brownlow running - after he was equal favourite for the award with Geelong's Gary Ablett with betting agency Centrebet, and second favourite with TAB Sportsbet before he was cited by the match review panel.

Mitchell could have remained eligible to win the Brownlow had he taken his charge to the tribunal and won a challenge, but he would have been suspended for one game had he lost.

The Hawks skipper on Tuesday said he never really considered the dilemma, and said putting the team first was an easy decision.

"You'd probably think that we debated about it long and hard, but it's pretty simple," he told the Nine Network.

"To get out of it with a reprimand and get to play on the weekend, I think any player in the competition would take that rather than some individual accolade.

"Although we didn't think there was that much in it (the offence), the risk of taking it there (the tribunal) and missing the game and you'd probably miss the Brownlow anyway if you're lucky enough to go that far.

"The risk of missing a game of footy, especially at such an important part of the year against such a good quality club that is going really well, it was a pretty easy decision."

Waite will miss Saturday night's game against Geelong after he lost his challenge against a striking charge at the tribunal, as he was found guilty of striking Mayne at Telstra Dome last Saturday.

The big Blue argued he made high contact accidentally after he jumped in the air trying to block Mayne's handball, and that his momentum carried him into the young Docker.

He argued that he made only light contact to Mayne once he realised that contact was inevitable, but his case was not helped by his admission that Blues coach Brett Ratten had earlier this season instructed Carlton players to try to take their opponents out of the action after they disposed of the ball, albeit fairly.

The tribunal jury ruled that Waite's conduct was negligent and that his actions constituted a strike.

The offence carried only 80 demerit points - which keeps Waite alive as a Brownlow roughie, as a $500 longshot with Centrebet - but his 93.75 carry-over points took him over the one-game threshold.

His absence will further weaken the Blues' backline given Michael Jamison (shoulder) is expected to miss another game, and Bret Thornton (knee) is no guarantee to return, having missed the past three games.

Earlier on Tuesday Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich and Demon Nathan Jones both pleaded guilty to making contact with field umpires and accepted $1,950 fines.

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