Robbie Gray’s bump on Jeremy McGovern that led to a one-match ban that the Power will challenge. Picture: Fox Sports
Robbie Gray’s bump on Jeremy McGovern that led to a one-match ban that the Power will challenge. Picture: Fox Sports

Power to challenge Gray ban at tribunal

PORT Adelaide has decided to appeal the one-match ban handed to Robbie Gray for his bump to West Coast's Jeremy McGovern.

Port and Gray will challenge the decision at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night.

The Power's appeal will cost the club $10,000 if turned down - nothing if upheld - but under new tribunal rules Gray does not risk an increased sentence.

Match review judge Michael Christian explained his decision to give Gray a week's suspension saying Gray had the option to contest the ball but chose to overlook this to bump McGovern.

The issue has polarised opinion, with some fearing it signals the end of the bump and others arguing that Gray had other options available to him.

The contact was also high, with contact made to the head.

Gray's situation was compounded by the fact that McGovern did not return to the ground.

Former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd agreed with Christian's judgment on Melbourne radio.

"I think he fully deserved that one week," said Lloyd.

"I think they should have gone to shoulder to shoulder and he could have bent down to pick up the ball.

"He's braced himself, he hasn't tried to whack him, but he braced for contact and deserves a week."

Saints coach Alan Richardson, who was a senior assistant for Gray during his time with Port Adelaide, was of a similar mind.

"Given that he had choice, and chose to bump, then you accept the responsibility," Richardson said.

Chad Wingard, who missed the game to hamstring injury, is likely to return for the Power's second JLT match, against the Crows at Alberton on March 10.

Should Gray be banned for the club's Round 1 match against Fremantle at Adelaide Oval on March 24, Wingard is likely to work in tandem with Steven Motlop - who did cop a bump to the knee on the weekend - as a midfielder-forward.

Patrick Ryder has accepted his $2000 fine for striking Andrew Gaff during the same game.


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