Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield’s hopes of winning back-to-back Brownlow Medals have been dashed after accepting a one match suspension for rough conduct.
The midfielder came undone with his sling tackle on Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer who he flung to the ground in the third quarter of the Cats win over the Blues.
Initially the tackle looked innocuous but as Kreuzer struggled to get to his feet, and the hit was analysed, it showed Dangerfield had thrown his opponent head first into the ground.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The 2016 Brownlow Medalist was expected to fight the charge in an attempt to keep his hopes alive of winning The Brownlow for a consecutive year.
As part of the criteria for the AFL’s highly esteemed award, the winner must be the competition’s best and fairest, meaning they cannot be suspended throughout the duration of the season.
But the four time All-Australian said it wasn’t a difficult decision to accept the suspension.
“You weigh up a whole myriad of different things but at the end of the day, it’s about whats the best decision for us as a group and a club,” Dangerfield said.
“Now it’s about moving on and focusing on next week.”
There have been calls to change the ruling to make players who serve minor suspensions eligible, but that seems unlikely.
Dangerfield was a front runner for this year’s award, but now Richmond’s Dustin Martin is the favourite.
It could potentially be a touchy scenario for Dangerfield and Martin, as it’s customary for the incumbent to present the medal to the new winner.
If Dangerfield polls the most votes, but is deemed ineligible and the medal goes to Martin, the handover ceremony would be awkward for everyone involved.