Albury duo Rhys King and Jessy Wilson, as well as Wangaratta defender Dylan Van Berlo will all miss the start of next season after being suspended by the Ovens and Murray tribunal on Wednesday night.
King, who pleaded guilty, suffered the most severe penalty when he was handed a four-match ban for engaging in rough conduct against Wangaratta’s Mark Anderson during the second quarter of the Ovens and Murray grand final on September 23 at Wangaratta’s Norm Minns Oval.
A high elbow, which struck the ear of Anderson and left him on the ground for close to three minutes was deemed intentional by the panel chaired by Wayne Taylor.
Anderson required stitches and was taken to hospital after playing out the rest of the game.
Albury advocate Lindsay Rollings argued King’s high elbow was a result of a subconscious reaction to the environment as Anderson approached to block him.
However, Wangaratta advocate Felix Gamze believed Anderson had no way of protecting himself and that King showed no duty of care when raising the elbow.
The ban takes King’s tally to five matches across his career after accepting a one-match penalty for striking against Myrtleford earlier in the season.
“At 18, something needs to change with the way you play,” chairman Taylor said.
King’s teammate Wilson was found guilty of striking Wangaratta’s Zac Leitch in the second term of the decider, but will only miss one week.
Wilson entered a guilty plea and was handed a two-match penalty, but one of those was suspended due to his clean record.
The strike was deemed intentional by the tribunal, with the initial charge by umpire Jason Raine upgraded from careless to intentional after he watched the vision.
Van Berlo also pleaded guilty to his rough conduct charge against Albury’s Mathew Walker in the final quarter.
The Magpie was offered a two-match ban and failed to have it reduced at the tribunal.
Chairman Taylor admitted the act can’t be condoned and felt matching the set penalty of two weeks was a fair punishment.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here