Carlton’s Plowman loses appeal over O’Meara bump

Carlton’s Lachie Plowman has lost his appeal against a two-match ban for a bump on Hawthorn’s Jaeger O’Meara, meaning the Blues defender will miss crucial games against Sydney and West Coast.

After he was found guilty, Carlton tried to argue Plowman should not be banned because of his good record, but this was also rejected.

The tribunal jury of Wayne Henwood, Richard Loveridge and David Neitz found on Tuesday night – after 35 minutes of deliberation – that Plowman came to the contest at speed, that O’Meara was not aware of Plowman’s presence and that the Carlton player bumped, which caused the collision and thus the Hawks’ midfielder’s injury.

Jaeger O’Meara of the Hawks is attended to by trainers after a collision with Lachie Plowman.Credit:Getty Images

Plowman and O’Meara collided in a marking contest in Carlton’s win over Hawthorn on Saturday and was charged by the match review officer with rough conduct (careless conduct, high impact and high contact) and was suspended for two weeks.

The AFL’s lawyer Jeff Gleeson said the medical report from Hawthorn showed O’Meara would likely miss one match because of concussion.

Carlton’s legal representative Peter O’Farrell argued that the incident was not a reportable offence because, as stated in the tribunal guidelines, the contact was incidental to a marking contest and the ball was within five metres of the pair.

The Blues did not dispute that the conduct was high impact and high contact, but did not agree the incident was careless on Plowman’s behalf.

“I continued on my line and attacked the ball,” Plowman said of his movements.

“I’ve got my fist closed and I am ready to spoil the ball,” he then said of an image of him right before impact. “My eyes are on the ball ready to impact the ball … I didn’t have any idea that he marked it … I only saw O’Meara coming in my peripherals.

“I did not make any election [to bump], I had all eyes for the ball … I punched the ball there towards the boundary and then the collision has happened.”

He added he was “a little bit hurt” after the collision, but did not say what that injury was. Plowman said that proved he did not brace for impact.

Gleeson challenged Plowman’s evidence that he did not brace or change his body position to bump O’Meara. He argued Plowman had a duty of care to O’Meara, in a split second decision, to not contest the ball.

“O’Meara was vulnerable,” Gleeson said. “Plowman and only Plowman realised before impact there would be a high speed impact if he continued on the path he was travelling.

“Is it OK for him to continue and bump the player who is vulnerable?

“20 years ago there’d be no questions about it, we know more now [about head trauma].”

O’Farrell, for Plowman, said there was no election to bump.

“[This was] incidental to a legitimate marking contest,” he said. “It’s the very heart of the game [two players contesting for a mark].

“It’s wrong to work back from the injury.”

The marathon 90-minute hearing ended with a long debate as to whether the incident was a “marking contest”, with Mr O’Farrell unable to convince tribunal chair Ross Howie that it was.

Marlion Pickett and Nick Holman’s tribunal cases are up next.

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