Port’s Jonas hit with six-game AFL ban

Port Adelaide gambled and lost at Tuesday night’s AFL tribunal hearing, which ended with Tom Jonas copping a six-game suspension for his ugly hit on West Coast’s Andrew Gaff.

The Power attempted to have the defender’s striking charge downgraded from intentional to careless conduct, a move whose failure cost Jonas any penalty discount he would have received had he simply pleaded guilty.

Jonas gave evidence to the hearing held at Etihad Stadium via video link from Adelaide, with the jury taking just seven minutes to deliver the sanction after a hearing that lasted approximately an hour and 40 minutes.

He spoke briefly to reporters after the hearing and ruled out an appeal.

“It’s a fair outcome,” Jonas said.

“We went in there and put our point forward – we thought that I was carelessly guilty but it was proven that I wasn’t and that it was intentional.

“We had a fair hearing and I’ll cop my punishment.

“I caused an injury to Andrew – let’s not forget that – it’s good that he’s okay.”

Jonas sparked a melee during the Power’s loss to the Eagles at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night when he knocked out Gaff with an elbow to the back of the head.

He was charged with striking and sent straight to the tribunal by the match review panel, who assessed the incident as intentional conduct with severe impact to the head.

AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson QC argued for a seven-match ban, to which Port legal counsel Mark Griffin QC responded, “This is not a Barry Hall punch”, referring to the seven-match penalty handed to the former Sydney forward for his infamous knockout strike on West Coast’s Brent Staker.

Jonas was the only player at the tribunal after Bulldogs midfielder Lin Jong accepted a two-match ban for his high bump on Greater Western Sydney’s Matt Buntine and all other players cited accepted fines.

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