'Pies Maxwell banned for four AFL games - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Pies Maxwell banned for four AFL games

17/02/2009 09:10:53 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood argued a solid case, but the AFL tribunal still suspended new captain Nick Maxwell for four matches after finding him guilty of rough conduct.

The two-hour case on Tuesday night featured the unusual situation where, after 25 minutes of deliberation, the three-man jury called back the tribunal and asked for a clarification on the two questions they had to consider.

Less than five minutes later, they handed down their finding against Maxwell.

The match review panel had reported Maxwell earlier this month after the round-one pre-season game against West Coast at Subiaco.

Maxwell's heavy shepherd left first-game Eagle Patrick McGinnity with a fractured jaw, which needed a plate inserted, putting him out of action for eight to 12 weeks.

The fact that McGinnity was left with a broken jaw was always going to be crucial.

Terry Forrest QC had argued that Maxwell had no realistic alternative but to shepherd McGinnity.

The jury of former players Emmett Dunne, Wayne Henwood and Wayne Schimmelbusch had to consider whether Maxwell had any realistic alternative to the shepherd.

If they decided there was no realistic alternative, they then had to decide whether the shepherd was reasonable.

The jury sought clarification on those two questions before handing down their verdict.

They ruled against Maxwell on the first question, meaning the Magpies skipper was deemed negligent and the charge was sustained.

Depending on Collingwood's progress through the NAB Cup, Maxwell could be out until round three of the regular season.

Maxwell and Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh declined to comment as they left the hearing.

Tribunal advocate Jeff Gleeson conceded that Maxwell delivered the shepherd "with good technique".

In his evidence, Maxwell said it was "unfortunate" that he made contact with McGinnity's head.

"I don't think I could have done anything differently," Maxwell said.

It was revealed during the hearing that Maxwell's head, not his shoulder, hit McGinnity's jaw.

He said that his head "sling-shotted" into McGinnity's jaw and Maxwell was left with a bruise above his left ear from the impact.

McGinnity and Collingwood opponent Anthony Corrie were running for the ball along the boundary line when Maxwell ran in and laid the shepherd.

Maxwell said he could not have gone for the ball, because he would have taken it out of play when his team had a two-on-one advantage.

He added that if had backed out of the contest, coach Mick Malthouse "would have been bitterly disappointed, to say the least".

Maxwell could have accepted a three-match ban with an early plea.

The case was held over by a week because Collingwood were on a community camp soon after the West Coast game.

Earlier on Tuesday, Brisbane's Ashley McGrath accepted a reprimand for front-on contact against St Kilda's Brendon Goddard.

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