Andrew Gaff To Cop Wrath From AFL Tribunal After King Hit
His punch broke the jaw of Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw.
West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff is at the mercy of the AFL tribunal following his swinging punch that broke the jaw of Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw.
Brayshaw was due to undergo surgery on Sunday night after having his jaw broken, lip cut, and four teeth displaced.
Gaff will be sent straight to the AFL tribunal for the off-the-ball punch, which was unprovoked and has been widely condemned on social media.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he was distressed by the "king hit", and referred to Barry Hall's seven-week ban for a punch on Brent Staker in 2008 as a precedent for what the tribunal might hand down.
Melbourne's Tom Bugg copped a six-match suspension last year for striking Sydney's Callum Mills in similar fashion to Gaff's punch.
But Mills wasn't seriously hurt, and was able to play the next week.
In contrast, 18-year-old Brayshaw is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Gaff apologised for his actions after the match, saying he did the wrong thing and it made him feel sick.
But his remorse won't save him from a lengthy ban.
If Gaff cops a seven-week ban, it means his season will be over -- even if West Coast reach the grand final.
A six-week ban would free him to play in the grand final -- but only if the Eagles lose in the first week of finals.
Gaff becomes a restricted free agent at season's end, meaning he may have played his last game for West Coast.
AFL match review officer Michael Christian will have a busy time reviewing the fiery western derby, which the Eagles won by 58 points to take a stranglehold on second spot.
Fremantle veteran Michael Johnson could be suspended for his high hip-and-shoulder to the head that left Gaff dazed.
And Eagles goalsneak Liam Ryan could be in trouble for his high bump on Lachie Neale after the Docker had disposed of the ball.
A host of other Eagles and Dockers players will also cop fines for their involvement in the fiery melees that marred the second half.
In other games, North Melbourne's Ben Cunnington landed a body blow on Dayne Beams that will get looked at, as did Essendon's Cale Hooker on Hawthorn's Ryan Schoenmakers.