AUSSIE RULES SIDE Adelaide Crows are to appeal the three-match ban handed out following a tackle that left All-Ireland winner Bríd Stack hospitalised with a serious neck injury.
Crows midfielder Ebony Marinoff was hit with the suspension — the longest in AFLW’s short history — for making forceful front-on contact on Stack during a pre-season game against GWS Giants.
The final minutes of Sunday’s match were abandoned while Stack was taken to hospital to treat a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra, from which she is expected to make a full recovery.
If upheld, Marinoff’s ban will see her miss one third of the nine-game season which begins on 28 January.
Ebony Marinoff has been found guilty of engaging in forceful front-on contact at the AFL Tribunal tonight and has been suspended for three matches. Below is the incident in question, more to come #weflyasone #crowsaflw pic.twitter.com/3FDLg1kXmQ
— Adelaide Crows AFLW (@CrowsAFLW) January 19, 2021
“We are appealing this decision because we all feel that the suspension is grossly disproportionate for the action,” Crows Head of Women’s Football Phil Harper said
“We need to support our player in this instance as we feel Ebony acted in an appropriate manner given the circumstances of this incident.
“We also feel for the Giants and Bríd in particular and wish her all the best for what is hopefully a speedy recovery.”
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Crows senior coach Matthew Clarke described the collision between Marinoff and Stack as “an unavoidable footy collision”.
“With regard to the penalty, as coaches and administrators we have a duty of care to our players and Ebony and all other AFLW players train incredibly hard for nine months for the opportunity to play just nine games.
“We feel it is unjust and disproportionate to have one third of those games taken away by what I believe to be an unavoidable incident.
“We believe it’s important to not only support our players, but to question an outcome which we see as placing an unreasonable expectation on all players to avoid contact in circumstances where the ball is in dispute.”
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