Imagine being Sydney’s doctor when the match review panel makes contact this morning.
The football world is awaiting the result of Lance Franklin’s report for engaging in rough conduct against Nick Malceski. The doctor holds Franklin’s future in his hands.
The Match Review Panel must decide whether Franklin’s conduct was reckless or negligent but the level of impact will be determined by the Sydney doctor’s medical report.
Amazingly, Sydney and Hawthorn will play this week. If Franklin’s actions are negligent, the doctor’s report will clear him to play against the Swans if it dismisses any thought of injury.
But if the MRP believes the medical report indicates Franklin made medium impact, then the Hawks star will miss the game.
That’s one tough medical report to write.
Lance Franklin (Hawthorn) for engaging in rough conduct towards Nick Malceski (Sydney)
Franklin doesn’t leave the ground and that could be the key element for the MRP when assessing his conduct. It is likely that vital decision will see his actions described as negligent. There is no doubt he hit Malceski high. From there it is a case of impact. Low impact will see Franklin offered a reprimand but if it’s called medium impact, he’ll be offered a one-week ban.
Jake Melksham (Essendon) for striking Daniel Jackson (Richmond)
There’s a school of thought that if a player throws a forearm at an opponent and that player ducks low enough to get hit in the face, it shouldn’t be reportable. But the reality is that if Melksham didn’t thrust his forearm out, no contact would have been made. Melksham is in touble. He’s in more trouble because a goal had just been kicked so play had stopped. The rules state that forearms thrown during a break in play will usually be called intentional. The rules also say that the impact won’t be classified as low. So, an intentional strike which is medium impact and high contact will cost Melksham two weeks on the sidelines next season.
Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda) for striking Matt de Boer (Fremantle)
The Saints skipper hit de Boer in the head when he arrived late in a marking contest. It was a round arm strike which makes it look reckless. It made high contact but is most likely low impact. Riewoldt would receive a reprimand for that type of report.