JackJumpers star Magnay being roughed up, says coach

Steve Barrett |

Will Magnay suffered a heavy hit during the JackJumpers’ heated win over Cairns.
Will Magnay suffered a heavy hit during the JackJumpers’ heated win over Cairns.

Tasmania coach Scott Roth believes opposition sides are deliberately targeting Will Magnay physically after the 208cm centre copped a painful hit to the sternum in the JackJumpers’ heated 94-86 victory over Cairns.

Magnay, the league’s leading shot-blocker and sixth-highest rebounder, struggled to breathe and staggered to the bench gingerly after being collected flush in the chest by Taipans captain Tahjere McCall, deep into the fourth quarter at the Cairns Convention Centre on Thursday night.

McCall received an unsportsmanlike foul for the incident, which appeared to be possible payback for two earlier skirmishes involving Magnay and Taipans import Pat Miller.

Roth says it isn’t the first time Magnay has been the recipient of heavy-handed treatment and is calling on the NBL to take action.

“He’s doing well, he’s as tough as they come and he’ll bounce back,” Roth said of Magnay.

“I’m sure the league is going to take a hard look at that.

“We’ve had a few discussions over the last few weeks, especially with Magnay and his process of rolling down the lane and some people targeting him a little bit.

“Some of that stuff needs to be cleaned up.

“I’m sure the league will handle it.”

Despite the clear discomfort shown by Magnay, who took no further part in the match, Roth doesn’t expect his key big man to miss any basketball.

“He’s walking around, he’s a little upset obviously with how the whole thing transpired,” he said.

“I’m always disappointed when one of our players gets knocked down or hurt.

“I don’t believe he’ll probably be out at all.

“I think it’s more just a shot to the stomach and the sternum and getting the wind knocked out of him, which will probably be quite sore.”

Taipans coach Adam Forde defended his skipper post-match, adamant McCall had no desire to hurt Magnay.

“No ill intent, it was a clumsy action,” Forde said.

“It’s interesting what things get officiated differently. It’s clumsy and nothing more than that. No ill-feeling.”