Brayden Maynard will be able to play the rest of the finals series after the AFL Tribunal exonerated him from any guilt. The Collingwood Magpies defender was looking at a three-match suspension for the hit on Angus Brayshaw. The collision resulted in a potentially career-ending concussion for the Melbourne Demons star.
The Hit Rattled Maynard Too
During the hearing, which dragged on for four hours, Maynard declared himself not guilty of the two charges, careless conduct and rough conduct. Before the hearing, the player explained that the incident was “a footy act,” and there was no malice or intent in the hit.
Maynard said that as he jumped in Brayshaw’s direction, he was looking only at the football and was trying to touch the ball. He claimed that he “jumped off two feet, straight in the air” and felt he made a connection.
However, as he turned his head, he was surprised to see that Maynard was there and in his way. So, he made a split-second decision to flinch and seize up, which made the hit worse, but also left Maynard “a bit rattled” too.
Maynard Couldn’t Cushion the Impact
AFL counsel Andrew Woods argued that Maynard had the chance to open or outstretch his arms to reduce at least some of the energy of the collision, but the player disagreed.
Maynard felt “the same outcome would have happened” even if he had outstretched his arms, as “it was a collision” that happened quickly, and Brayshaw was coming down his line.
Michael Cole, a biomechanics specialist, backed what Maynard was saying by adding that he had “no opportunity” to cushion or avoid the violent contact.
An Awkward Visit to Brayshaw’s House
According to SEN’s Sam Edmund, Maynard did try to make reparations and arrived in Brayshaw’s house with “flowers and wine.” However, the visit was described as “awkward” as several of Brayshaw’s teammates were already there to provide support to the concussed Demon.
Some of them didn’t take well to Maynard visiting the individual whose career he might have ended, and one Melbourne player had to make himself leave the room “to make sure nothing untoward happened.”