Melbourne star Kysaiah Pickett faces a nervous wait for the Match Review Officer’s verdict after being reported for a late hit on Bulldogs star Bailey Smith.
Less than a second after Smith kicked the ball inside 50, Pickett leapt into the air and appeared to make high contact with Smith, prompting a scuffle between Demons and Dogs players during Saturday night’s clash at the MCG.
While Smith was quick to get back up to his feet and able to play out the quarter, Pickett was reported by the on-field umpire.
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The incident will be reviewed by MRO Michael Christian, who didn’t lay any charges from the first two games of the season.
Any bumps assessed by the MRO are traditionally graded as ‘careless conduct’. And if Pickett’s bump is deemed careless, low impact and high contact, he’d escape with a fine.
But the MRO now has the capabilities to upgrade a low impact incident to medium impact if the action has the potential to cause injury.
Speaking on Fox Footy, Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson said the incident should be graded through the MRO “matrix” — rather than sent directly to the tribunal — but Christian faced a difficult process.
“The outcome for Bailey is OK, but when you look at the impact … this could be classified as low impact. But 1cm to the right, he could be knocked out. We obviously don’t know that, but ultimately what he’s done is jumped off the ground, leant forward, got him under the chin with a bit of his back — that’s the bit for me is impact and what we classify as low, medium and high.
“The outcome has a part to play in that, so if that’s classified as ‘low’ because Bailey sits up and plays out the quarter, I’m not sure that sits too well with me.
“The action is no good, but the outcome is OK, so that’s where it gets lost a little bit for me.”
Triple premiership Cat Cameron Mooney said Pickett was lucky he didn’t appear to collect Smith flush in the head.
“Are we going to go on ‘what would’ve been?’ I don’t think we can play the game on ‘what could‘ve been’. We’ve got to play the game out,” Mooney told Fox Footy.
“He was lucky Kozzy because, in my opinion, it looked like shoulder on shoulder. It was when he rolled it was the back that hit bailey in the chin. That’s why it was probably low impact and Bailey got straight back up.
“If it was shoulder onto the chin, he’s knocked out.”
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Story Credit: foxsports.com.au