Not everyone is happy after star Saints veteran Paddy Ryder was handed a two-match suspension for his bump on young Hawk Will Day.
Star Saints veteran Paddy Ryder has been handed a two-match suspension for his bump on young Hawk Will Day.
Day was subbed out of Hawthorn’s 69-point loss to St Kilda on Sunday with concussion after he was collected by Ryder during the second quarter.
The incident was graded as careless conduct with high impact and high contact, resulting in a two-match ban.
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St Kilda is 17-7 when both Ryder and Rowan Marshall play over the last three seasons, meaning Ryder’s absence will be felt against Gold Coast and GWS.
After Day kicked the ball in the middle of the MCG, he received contact from 197cm ruck Ryder, who appeared to elect to bump.
While it’s unclear whether Ryder’s shoulder made direct contact with the young Hawk’s head, Day undoubtedly felt the effect of the contact and was subbed out, with Ryder immediately putting his hand out to apologise.
“He (Day) is a bit battered, he’sa bit sore and sorry for himself,” Hawks coach Sam Mitchell told reporters post-game. “I think something similar happened this time last year, so it’s not ideal.
“He entered the concussion protocols, so we’ll wait and leave that with the medical team and assess him through the week and look after him.”
With the focus on concussion increasing in recent years, the AFL has flagged its determination to protect players’ heads, with the onus on those who elect to bump.
Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley claimed it would show the game has “got too soft” if Ryder was suspended.
Saints coach Brett Ratten said Ryder’s bump “looked pretty fair” to him, but would let the MRO process play out.
“I saw the incident on replay and I’ll let the tribunal or anybody look at it to make an assessment,” he told reporters.
“It did look like he just hit him pretty much up the front, which is going to hurt somebody. He was quite open there.
“But it looked pretty fair to me. But anyway, we’ll let others make those calls and that’s why they’re in the game to make these calls.”
AFL great Campbell Brown completely disagreed with Rydner being punished.
“My advice to players … never brace for contact on a football field, it is now an illegal action,” he tweeted.
Garry Lyon told SEN Breakfast he thought a one-game suspension “would have been fine” while Essendon legend Tim Watson said he wasn’t surprised Ryder was rubbed out.
“I wasn’t surprised that he got cited and I wasn’t surprised that he got penalized,” he told SEN. “My understanding is, if you make contact with somebody in the head in the act of bumping, then you will then pay the price.
“There was nothing malicious in it, there was nothing vicious in it, in that last second he probably tried to avoid the contact.
“The game is asking him to make a decision before (the hit), and approach it in a different way.”
Triple premiership Cat Cameron Ling said players that elected to bump had been suspended “time and time again” for incidents that ultimately led to their opponent copping an injury.
“The only question I want to pose is was the whiplash of the head the cause of the concussion? Or did he definitely get him on the chin?” Ling asked on Channel 7. “Maybe he did, I just couldn’t quite tell.”
Originally published as Saints star suspended for weeks after bump on Hawthorn rival