Sydney Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is set to be put under the microscope of the AFL Match Review Officer for a bump during Sydney’s win over Carlton yesterday.
Franklin, 34, was at his show-stopping best in his side’s 100-78 win over the Blues, finishing with three goals to take his career tally to 966, and move him closer to the 1000-goal club.
But Franklin may find himself in strife with the MRO for a head high hit on Carlton’s Nic Newman as the pair jostled for the loose ball in the second quarter at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Franklin’s shoulder contacted Newman’s face before the defender hit the turf. Newman was able to return to play successfully, but the incident is sure to attract the attention of the MRO.
Two-time Premiership winner David King said Franking was “in trouble” and likely to face suspension for the incident.
“It’s a bit clumsy, isn’t it?” King said on Fox Sports’ First Crack.
“He comes in hard, he goes low, he falls to the ground. He’s sort of half looking for contact. The problem for me is he goes past the ball, and when you go past the ball and make contact with the head, I think you’re in trouble.
“I’ve been pretty strong on this because the downside is so big.
“Buddy is a big unit. He’s a big boy. One false move… he’s gambling with what a player with his head in a vulnerable position is likely to do.
“I think he’s in trouble personally.”
But the podcast co-host and former AFL star Leigh Montagna did not agree that Franklin should face anything more than a fine.
“I think what the saviour is, was that Newman got straight up and took his kick,” Montagna said.
“We know the MRO – whether we agree about it or not – base it on the outcome and the result, and I think it does look clumsy and does look sloppy, but there’s obviously very little contact.
“If Buddy Franklin did run into you, trust me it hurts, you wouldn’t be getting up as quick as he did. So I think maybe a fine at best.”
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