Remorseful Port Adelaide defender Tom Jonas is bracing for a lengthy suspension after crudely knocking out West Coast’s Andrew Gaff in Saturday’s AFL game.
Jonas floored Gaff with an elbow as the Eagles buried some of their road demons with an eight-point win against the Power at Adelaide Oval.
West Coast ended a six-game losing stretch on the road with Josh Kennedy kicking seven goals in a 14.10 (94) to 13.8 (86) victory.
Port coach Ken Hinkley says Jonas knows he made a mistake when knocking out Gaff, while Power star Robbie Gray is also on report for tripping Mark LeCras.
Gaff went back with the flight of the ball and marked before a late-coming Jonas hit him with a right elbow to the back of the head in a third-term flashpoint.
“He’s a nice bloke. He knows he made a mistake,” Hinkley said of Jonas.
“The AFL will take care of that and Tommy will cop what comes his way. But he’s more concerned for Andrew than his own self.”
Gaff’s neck was placed in a brace and he was stretchered from the field as a melee involving nearly all players ensued.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson appealed for leniency from the AFL when dishing out the inevitable fines for West Coast players involved in the scuffle.
“I hope we don’t fine all our players for a melee … there’s not much choice when that happens,” Simpson said.
“What are you meant to do? Just stand there and wait for the stretcher?”
Simpson said Gaff was “okay” after the match and had been cleared to fly home to Perth with his teammates later Saturday night.
Also glad to be flying home is star forward Kennedy, whose wife is overdue to give birth to the couple’s first child.
Kennedy only decided to play on Friday afternoon, catching a flight to Adelaide that night to join his teammates – and then dominating the Saturday twilight encounter.
Kennedy booted five and set up another of the Eagles’ initial nine goals as the visitors crafted a 37-point lead late in the third term before holding off a fast-finishing Port.
Coach Simpson marvelled at Kennedy’s performance in the circumstances.
“To come over and switch on in the way that he did, especially the first half, just shows what kind of leader he is,” Simpson said.