Pickett handed one-match ban as Crow plays down clash

Steve Larkin and Shayne Hope |

Melbourne forward Kysaiah Pickett has been hit with more tribunal trouble.
Melbourne forward Kysaiah Pickett has been hit with more tribunal trouble.

Adelaide’s Jake Soligo is playing down the incident with Kysaiah Pickett that has led to a one-match suspension for the Melbourne livewire.

Pickett was on Friday handed his third ban since the start of last season, this time for his high contact on Soligo.

Pickett jumped off the ground and made glancing contact with his opponent’s head during the Demons’ 15-point win at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

AFL match review officer Michael Christian graded the incident as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

“I didn’t think there was too much (in it),” Soligo told reporters on Friday.

“I kept playing through the game so I was fine. I was all sweet.”

Adelaide's Jake Soligo
Adelaide’s Jake Soligo shrugged off the Pickett bump and played out the match against the Demons. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Pickett last year copped two suspensions for high bumps on opponents.

The second – a brutal hit on Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps during the finals – meant a delayed start to the 2024 campaign for Pickett as he served a one-match ban.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin expected the latest flashpoint to attract scrutiny and is now set to be without his star for Thursday’s round-five clash with the Brisbane Lions at the MCG.

Goodwin said Pickett’s intention was to smother Soligo’s handpass and insisted the contact between the pair was “pretty light”.

“He puts enormous pressure on, he tries to intercept the ball, that’s his game,” Goodwin said after the match.

“He’s modified a lot of what he’s done previously, and I don’t see that in his game much at all anymore.”

Melbourne could choose to challenge Pickett’s latest ban at the tribunal.

Demons key forward Jacob van Rooyen was charged with striking Adelaide’s Mark Keane and can accept a $2500 fine with an early guilty plea.

AAP