Geelong forward Gary Rohan has been offered a two-match ban for striking Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale during the Cats’ controversial one-point AFL win over Brisbane.
The incident occurred behind play during the opening term of Friday night’s drama-filled match at GMHBA Stadium, and was part of the build-up to a heated exchange between Cats coach Chris Scott and Lions players at quarter-time.
Rohan’s strike was assessed by the AFL match review officer as intentional conduct, medium impact and high contact.
Neale went to ground and then taunted Rohan with a three-finger gesture that suggested the Cat would cop a three-match ban.
Scott defended Rohan in his post-match press conference and accused Neale of instigating the confrontation.
“Neale strikes Gary on the chest and then Gary struck him on the chest,” Scott said.
“The vision is clear. I am certainly not saying he (Neale) did the wrong thing, that’s footy, but I have had a pretty good look at what Gary did and I’m comfortable with it.”
The quarter-time exchange between Scott and several Brisbane players, including Harris Andrews and Joe Daniher, will be reviewed by the AFL on Monday.
“I was walking onto the ground and Lachie Neale just said to me something – I couldn’t understand exactly what he said, but something about Gary Rohan,” Scott said.
“I said, ‘I’m happy to have the conversation with you if you like, I have seen the vision, and I am comfortable with it’.
“I suspect he didn’t hear all of that. That is all that was said.
“A few of the Brisbane players – they were not paying me compliments – but I didn’t say anything after that.”
Brisbane goal sneak Charlie Cameron was also charged with striking Geelong’s Shaun Higgins.
Cameron was offered a $2000 sanction for the second-quarter incident, which was assessed as intentional conduct, low impact and body contact.
The Cats won the match 12.9 (81) to 11.14 (80) after Brisbane’s Zac Bailey was denied a free kick close to goal in the dying stages.
The AFL on Saturday conceded Bailey’s tackle on Geelong defender Mark Blicavs should have been rewarded with a ‘holding the ball’ decision.
Rohan’s almost certain suspension comes after Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield was banned for three matches for his bump on Jake Kelly in round one, which caused a head clash that left the Crows player concussed.