AFL 2022: Ruckmen suspended for misplaced aggression; GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs reaction

Peter Ladhams and Braydon Preuss have both fallen foul of the MRO for their indiscretions at the weekend. Find out their penalties.

GWS ruckman Braydon Preuss has been suspended for the third time in seven matches this year after a dangerous tackle on opponent Tim English.

Preuss’s slinging tackle on the Dogs ruckman saw English hit his head on the ground in the latest example of misplaced aggression.

A careless, medium-impact assessment by the match review panel saw Preuss suspended yet again for a dangerous tackle on Brodie Grundy in the pre-season AAMI Series clash and a round 4 strike on Fremantle’s David Mundy.

Preuss demonstrated a clear double action as he whipped English into the ground.

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Braydon Preuss was subbed off just after quarter-time with an ankle injury. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Braydon Preuss was subbed off just after quarter-time with an ankle injury. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The MRO has shown across the last few years it is prepared to suspend players for that action, often assessing incidents as medium impact given the capacity to cause serious injury.

Preuss was likely to miss the clash against Collingwood regardless with an ankle injury that saw him subbed off the ground.

But the Giants will be desperate for him to get a better balance of aggression and restraint into his game given how critical he is to their ruck fortunes.

His dangerous tackle on Grundy in the pre-season — which saw him miss round 1 — was a dumping tackle rather than a sling tackle but Preuss still needs to find a different approach.

Former coach Leon Cameron said after the Mundy punch Preuss had to restrain himself at times.

Tempers Flare between Ollie Wines and Peter Ladhams at the weekend. Picture: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Tempers Flare between Ollie Wines and Peter Ladhams at the weekend. Picture: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images

It’s disappointing that Preuss is out,” he said.

“We’ve spoken about that and he’s addressed the group, he’s disappointed he’s let the team down. It’s cost us this weekend, but equally you then look at opportunity for Matty Flynn, who’ll come in.

Sydney ruckman Peter Ladhams was handed a one-week suspension for his stomach punch on former teammate Ollie Wines.

The punch was to the stomach, with a defenceless and unsuspecting Wines hit while he was on the ground after a contest.

Sydney could attempt to downgrade the incident at the tribunal to low impact but has already spent $20,000 in their soft cap over unsuccessful challenges for James Rowbottom and Lance Franklin.

West Coast’s Willie Rioli was offered a fine for his elbow strike to the stomach of Geelong’s Sam De Koning, with the act assessed as intentional, low impact and to the body.

Preuss staring at another dangerous tackle ban

Braydon Preuss faces the prospect of being suspended for the third time in seven matches this year after a dangerous tackle on opponent Tim English.

Preuss’s slinging tackle on the Dogs ruckman saw English hit his head on the ground in the latest example of misplaced aggression.

A careless, medium-impact assessment by the match review panel would see Preuss suspended yet again. He has already missed games this year for a dangerous tackle on Brodie Grundy in the pre-season and a round 4 strike on Fremantle’s David Mundy.

A decision will be released on Sunday night, but Preuss demonstrated a clear double action as he whipped English into the ground.

The MRO has shown across the past few years it is prepared to suspend players for that action, often assessing incidents as medium impact given the capacity to cause serious injury.

Preuss is likely to miss the clash against Collingwood regardless with an ankle injury that saw him subbed off the ground.

But the Giants will be desperate for him to get a better balance of aggression and restraint into his game given how critical he is to their ruck fortunes.

Braydon Preuss will come under the microscope for a rough tackle on Tim English. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Braydon Preuss will come under the microscope for a rough tackle on Tim English. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

His dangerous tackle on Grundy in the pre-season – which saw him miss round 1 – was a dumping tackle rather than a sling tackle, but Preuss still needs to find a different approach.

Former coach Leon Cameron said after the Mundy punch Preuss had to restrain himself at times.

“It’s disappointing that Preuss is out,” he said.

“We’ve spoken about that and he’s addressed the group, he’s disappointed he’s let the team down.”

Giants coach Mark McVeigh said Preuss was unlikely to recover from the ankle injury in time to face Collingwood next Sunday.

“That’s a big blow for him because he was ill before the mid-season break and he’s fought back, played good footy in the VFL and for that to happen is really disappointing,” McVeigh said.

“We don’t know where it will land, but you’d have to think he’s in doubt. He’ll be extremely disappointed because he wants to give back to the footy club, who have shown a lot of faith in him, and he was doing everything right.

“As a footballer these things happen, but you’ve got to find a way to get through them and we’ll support him and he’ll be OK. Let’s hope it’s on the lesser lend.”

Port Adelaide ruckman Peter Ladhams will be awaiting a decision from the MRO after his stomach punch on former teammate Ollie Wines.

The punch was to the stomach and Wines played on afterwards, so Michael Christian will have to assess whether it was low impact or medium.

A low-impact strike would be a fine and a medium impact strike would be a week’s suspension.

Given Wines played on without going to the bench it is possible Ladhams will only be fined.

West Coast’s Willie Rioli is likely to be fined for his elbow strike to the stomach of Geelong’s Sam De Koning.

Gruesome injury pulls handbrake on Dog’s stunning game

– Michael Randall, Marc McGowan, Daniel Garb

Tough-as-nails Western Bulldog Cody Weightman has had his knockers for his propensity for staging, but no one could argue with his toughness as the Bulldogs continued their late surge.

The 21-year-old dislocated his left elbow during the Bulldogs’ 20-point victory over GWS after he collided with teammate Josh Schache and his extended arm hit the ground awkwardly.

Cody Weightman suffered a gruesome injury. Picture: Getty Images
Cody Weightman suffered a gruesome injury. Picture: Getty Images
Not sure that’s how an elbow’s meant to look. Picture: Getty Images
Not sure that’s how an elbow’s meant to look. Picture: Getty Images

Grimacing in pain, Bulldogs’ medicos appeared to put the elbow back in on the ground after the young Dog had booted five first-half goals from five kicks.

“It’s a brutal game this one, isn’t it?” Bulldogs’ great Luke Darcy said during the Seven call.

“Cody Weightman, five first-half goals and then an elbow dislocation.

“They’ve put it back in on the ground, you think the modern players aren’t brave?”

Brave, he is, medicos strapping up Weightman and sending him back out on the ground.

Each team’s medical substitute was activated by early in the second term, with Bulldog Taylor Duryea suffering a potentially serious right knee injury and Giant Braydon Preuss hurting his right ankle.

That wasn’t the end of the carnage, with Jesse Hogan limping around at one stage before Weightman suffered his gruesome dislocation.

James Peatling sat out the final term with hamstring tightness, while debutant Ryan Angwin had his right ankle assessed and Sam Taylor played the last quarter-and-a-bit with strapping across his chin.

Weightman after returning to the ground with his elbow strapped celebrates winning at the end of the game. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Weightman after returning to the ground with his elbow strapped celebrates winning at the end of the game. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Bulldogs continue resurgence as they close on eight

Here come the Western Bulldogs.

Underwhelming for much of the season, Luke Beveridge’s men have suddenly won four of their past five matches to menacingly close within a game of the top eight.

Their latest scalp was arch rival Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium on Saturday night, with an unanswered five-goal run to end the third term the key to a 20-point victory.

Beveridge will not only be delighted with his side’s surging form but also the fact 10 of his players kicked goals, with young guns Cody Weightman and Aaron Naughton booting five apiece.

They still have Josh Bruce to return as well.

Triple All-Australian Jack Macrae racked up 12 of his game-high 37 disposals in the decisive third quarter, while Tom Liberatore and Tim English both amassed 10 clearances.

The Giants battled to the end and slashed the deficit to 19 points with more than seven minutes to go, when do-it-all forward Toby Greene set up a Jake Riccardi goal, but that was as close as they got.

Aaron Naughton celebrates kicking one of five goals against GWS Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Aaron Naughton celebrates kicking one of five goals against GWS Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Greene was the best player afield with a career-most seven goals and 14 score involvements in a sensational performance that reminded everyone of what GWS missed in the early rounds.

The Giants were already long odds to return to the finals after a tardy start that cost Leon Cameron his job, but this defeat means they will likely have to win all nine remaining games to be a chance.

The Dogs are back in the thick of a ladder logjam that sets the scene for a fascinating race to September as they try to avenge last year’s grand final defeat.

Aaron Naughton takes a strong mark at GIANTS Stadium. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Aaron Naughton takes a strong mark at GIANTS Stadium. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

SCORING BINGE

There was some danger of a blowout when the Bulldogs piled on six of the first eight goals on Saturday night, including three to spring-heeled forward Cody Weightman.

But the Giants soon came to the party as the match transformed into an entertaining, high-octane shootout.

They combined for 11 goals by quarter-time and 19 to the half, with the 127 points between them the most to the main break in any game this season.

That torrid pace was maintained and the final 230-point tally was the highest of the year.

Small forwards Weightman and Toby Greene were the headline acts at opposite ends.

Greene matched the Bulldog’s five goals with a dribbling attempt early in the third term before finishing with a career-high seven.

The key forwards did their bit, too, with Aaron Naughton and Jesse Hogan benefiting from some excellent aerial work to bag five and three goals, respectively.

ADDED BONUS

The Dogs are likely to recall wingman Lachie Hunter after he shone in the VFL for Footscray on Friday night, compiling 30 disposals.

Star forward Josh Bruce kicked three first-half goals in his return from a knee reconstruction and will come into consideration along with defender Hayden Crozier, who impressed with 27 touches and 10 marks. And even more pleasing, No. 2 pick Sam Darcy continues to make progress at VFL level, with 13 marks playing mainly in defence.

SCOREBOARD

GIANTS 5.4, 9.7, 11.8, 16.9 (105)

BULLDOGS 6.1, 10.6, 16.9, 19.11 (125)

McGOWAN’S BEST

Giants: Greene, Coniglio, Green, Whitfield, Himmelberg, Hogan.

Bulldogs: Macrae, Weightman, Liberatore, English, Naughton, Dunkley, Bontempelli.

GOALS

Giants: Greene 7, Hogan 3, Coniglio 2, Riccardi 2, Ash, Brander.

Bulldogs: Weightman 5, Naughton 5, West 2, Williams, Bontempelli, McNeil, Scott, Ugle-Hagan, Macrae, Dunkley.

INJURIES

Giants: Preuss (right ankle), Peatling (hamstring tightness).

Bulldogs: Duryea (right knee), Weightman (dislocated elbow).

UMPIRES

Fisher, Gavine, Meredith

VENUE

Giants Stadium

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

McGOWAN’S VOTES

3 T.Greene (GWS)

2 J.Macrae (W Bull)

1 C.Weightman (W Bull)

Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge poses with fans after winning on the road in Sydney. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge poses with fans after winning on the road in Sydney. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Beveridge: Smith back ‘apologetic and contrite’

It’s been an ‘apologetic and contrite’ Bailey Smith that has ventured back into the Western Bulldogs fold, according to coach Luke Beveridge after a tumultuous week that has seen the star midfielder suspended by the AFL for two weeks after being caught with an illicit substance.

Speaking in the wake of his side’s 20-point with over GWS that maintains their surge on the top eight, Beveridge says Smith, who is sidelined for a month altogether following a two-week suspension for headbutting Zac Tuohy, is making changes in his personal life to ensure a similar saga doesn’t eventuate again.

“Yeah, he’s going OK, he trained on Friday with our rehab group,” Beveridge said.

“I’ve spoken to him. He’s put some things in place to make sure he’s got balance in his life so that he mitigates the circumstances where he’s exposed to situations.

“Not necessarily what’s happened but you can imagine the public life of Bailey Smith, he’s just got to be smart and intelligent with what he does away from the club.

“It’s complicated for him and we just need to help with him with that. When an individual is involved with something untoward then it affects everyone and he knows that and he’s been really contrite and apologetic.

“He’s back training with us and now we’ve just got to scale up and look to the future and see when he can come back into the team in about a month or so.”

While Smith will return in four weeks, important defender Taylor Duryea may miss a significant portion of the season with a medial ligament injury in his knee.

The 31-year-old, who loomed as the best match up for Toby Greene who would kick a remarkable seven goals in a losing side, limped from the field in the first quarter and the Bulldogs are wary he may struggle to return before the finals.

“It’s not just a grade one type strain he’s really damaged it so I think he’s going to be out for a little while.” Beveridge said.

The victory helps the Bulldogs close to within a game of St Kilda in eighth spot with a healthier percentage but last year’s grand finalists face a difficult run home with games against Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Geelong to come.

“Hawthorn touched us up in Tasmania last year and we play them next. We’ll just worry about the Hawks I think everyone knows what we’ve got coming after that we play a lot of teams in the top eight so it’s not going to get any easier.”

Originally published as AFL 2022: Ruckmen suspended for misplaced aggression; GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs reaction

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