Saints’ Ryder fails to overturn AFL ban

Oliver Caffrey |

St Kilda have failed at the tribunal in their bid to overturn the two-game AFL ban handed down to star veteran Paddy Ryder.

Ryder will now be unavailable for games against Gold Coast and GWS after the Saints moved to a 3-1 record to sit fourth on the ladder.

The ruckman was cited for engaging in rough conduct against Hawthorn youngster Will Day during the Saints’ 69-point win at the MCG on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Day was helped from the field and substituted out of the match at halftime with concussion.

Ryder’s actions were assessed by the match review officer as careless conduct, high impact and high contact.

The Saints’ legal representative Jack Rush QC attempted to have the charge downgraded from high impact to medium.

Ryder did not give evidence but watched the hearing online.

Rush used several examples of previous incidents in an attempt to highlight inconsistency with the grading of rough conduct charges.

The most recent example was Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English’s hit on Sydney Swans defender Nick Blakey in round three.

English was cleared of the incident, with Blakey not suffering any long-term effects from the collision and played the following week.

Rush argued Ryder tried to slow down before colliding with Day

“We could contend that (Ryder) is a player who is trying to brace, reduce and minimise contact,” Rush told the tribunal.

“There’s a real stopping action for impact

“He’s not running at this contest at speed, he’s stopped and it’s not his momentum that’s caused the force of the collision.

“There are very, very good grounds here to say this should be reclassified.”

But after deliberating for 26 minutes, the tribunal panel disagreed with Rush’s sentiment and threw the case out.

“Having disposed of the ball, Day was entitled to expect and indeed appeared to expect that he would not then receive forceful contact, which was largely front-on,” tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson said.

Ryder said he respected the tribunal’s decision.

“It’s disappointing to miss out on the next two weeks, but I understand the importance we as a competition must place on protecting the heads of our players,” Ryder said.

“My thoughts are with Will and I hope he makes a speedy recovery from concussion and returns to the field as soon as he can.”

Meanwhile, Carlton defender Nic Newman has been charged with wrestling the Suns’ Ben Ainsworth during the Blues’ loss on Sunday.

Newman has been offered a $1500 fine by the MRO but will challenge the sanction via a written submission.