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Port's $10K bust: Robbie fails at Tribunal

JLT: Gray's high hit on McGovern Robbie Gray may face match review scrutiny for this bump against Jeremy McGovern

PORT Adelaide star Robbie Gray will miss the Power's round one clash against Fremantle after the Tribunal chose not to accept his argument he was bracing for contact when he collided with West Coast's Jeremy McGovern. 

Gray's case was thrown out on Tuesday night after an hour-long hearing, leaving the star midfielder to serve a one-match suspension and the Power to pay a $10,000 fine under its football department soft cap.  

In the first Tribunal hearing of the new season, the jury took six minutes to decide that Gray had bumped McGovern in Sunday's JLT Community Series clash – rather than braced for impact – and he had alternative ways to contest the ball.

The decision handed down on Monday by new match review officer Michael Christian was upheld in full, with the incident graded as careless conduct with medium impact to the head.

"We move on I suppose and take the verdict. I'll miss round one, but I've got plenty of the rest of the year to play," Gray said as he left the hearing room in Adelaide. 


The Power star, who was represented by Mark Griffin QC, argued he was not bumping but bracing for contact, doing everything in his power to minimise the impact to McGovern. 

Using behind the goals vision and player speed tracking, Port argued there was 1.28 seconds between Gray taking off to win possession and the collision, leaving only a split second for him to make a decision. 

"I had every intention of winning the footy," Gray told the Tribunal.

"The last couple of steps I saw out of the corner of my eye someone flying in pretty quick (and) I had to make a judgement on whether I was going to win the footy or he was."

Gray's counsel argued that for Gray to put his hands and head down in an attempt to take possession would have been "ridiculously dangerous" and the midfielder had done "all he reasonably could to avoid contact being too severe".  

He said Gray's only alternative would have been to pull out of the contest, conceding possession to McGovern and opening the option of tackling the Eagles defender.

AFL counsel Andrew Woods contended that was a realistic alternative for Gray, and also queried the evidence that he had slowed down ahead of the collision. 

Woods argued that the action was a bump, not a brace, because Gray had been the player instigating contact as McGovern had his head over the ball, rather than the other way around.                    

The jury of Wayne Henwood, Richard Loveridge and Michael Jamison took only six minutes to reach its verdict.

Gray remains eligible to play in the Power's second JLT Community Series match against Adelaide and will then return for the club's round two clash against Sydney at the SCG.