Brisbane Lions star Eric Hipwood is facing the AFL Tribunal in a case that has left former greats of the game divided over the appropriate penalty. Follow live below!
During the third quarter of Thursday night’s win over Western Bulldogs at the Gabba, Hipwood pushed opponent Ryan Gardner, with Gardner tumbling into umpire Jacob Mollison as a result, as Hipwood streamed forward to take an uncontested mark.
The key forward was referred directly to the Tribunal for the act, which was not graded.
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Hipwood is pleading not guilty, arguing the contact was accidental and primarily caused by his opponent running directly towards the umpire and making prohibited contact with him while sprinting towards goal.
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Melbourne great Garry Lyon, speaking on Fox Footy’s On The Couch, said the Tribunal had an opportunity to take a stand against those sorts of incidents, which he said “flattened an umpire”.
“There’s some arguable elements to it that may see him get off with a fine, but you’ve got to execute a greater duty of care when there’s umpires in the vicinity.
“I think there’ll be an arguable element of it that he can downgrade it… I think he knew what he was doing.”
Nick Riewoldt stood in fierce opposition to Lyon, saying, “there’s no way he can be suspended for this.”
“The burden of proof is on the AFL to prove that he deliberately pushed him into an umpire. And how can you prove that?”
Follow the AFL Tribunal in our live blog below from 5PM AEST!