Saints Brown cops three-game AFL ban

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St Kilda veteran Nathan Brown will miss the start of the 2019 season after he was slapped with a three-game ban for rough conduct by the AFL tribunal.
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The 29-year-old was referred directly to the tribunal after he concussed Essendon’s Adam Saad with a heavy bump late in the first term of Friday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium.

AFL match review officer Michael Christian assessed the contact as intentional conduct with high impact to the head.

Ian Hill QC representing the Saints argued Brown’s actions were careless rather than intentional at Tuesday night’s 90-minute hearing.

He said Brown made an error of judgement that led to a mistimed attempt to check Saad’s run.

But the jury of Jason Johnson, Richard Loveridge and Stewart Loewe took eight minutes to find him guilty and hand down the suspension.

“I wholeheartedly accept the findings of the tribunal,” Brown told reporters as he left.

“Again, I apologise to Adam and his family and hope he can take the field for Essendon this week.”

Brown will miss St Kilda’s remaining matches against Hawthorn and North Melbourne as well as the Saints’ season-opener next year.

Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker was the only other player offered a ban after Christian’s assessment of round 21 action.

Walker’s season is also over after he accepted his two-game ban for rough conduct on GWS star Josh Kelly that saw him knocked unconscious in a sling tackle.

The tackle was initially rewarded with holding the ball but the decision was reversed and Walker was penalised for a dangerous tackle when Kelly’s injury became apparent.

It brought a frustrating year to an end for Walker, whose side will miss the finals this season after being grand-finalists last year.

“I’m not going to challenge it,” Walker told Triple M Radio on Tuesday.

“It probably sums up my season. It’s been very challenging for me individually and us as a footy team.”

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