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How Andrew Gaff’s punch on Andrew Brayshaw stacks up against other recent ugly incidents


Published on Aug. 6, 2018 by Anna Harrington on Foxsports

ANDREW Gaff looks certain to face the AFL tribunal for punching Andrew Brayshaw and leaving the young Docker with a broken jaw and displaced teeth.

Brayshaw has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery, while Gaff’s season could well be ended by suspension.

Here’s how the punch stacks up to recent similar incidents:


Melbourne’s Tomas Bugg attracted the ire of the footy world when he swung at Sydney youngster Callum Mills.

Bugg and Mills were engaged in a scuffle well off the ball when the Melbourne player caught Mills flush on the jaw with a punch that knocked out the Swan and ended his night.

Like Gaff, Bugg issued an immediate on-air apology at the conclusion of the match.

He was sent straight to the tribunal and received a six-game suspension.

“I saw the footage, it does look really bad. I’m a bit embarrassed,” Bugg said on Channel 7.

“It looks really bad, my genuine intent wasn’t to hurt Callum. It’s disappointing he couldn’t take part in the rest of the game.

“Going forward, I hope he is OK. I went to try to speak to him after the game but could understand he didn’t probably want to speak to me too much.

“I hope for him and his family he gets better and he can play next week.

“Going forward, it wasn’t my genuine intent. It’s not the way we want to be seen as a club.

“We have seen things in the past happen like this. It’s not what we want to be viewed as. We want Melbourne to be a strong football side and not incidents like that to define us.”


This suspension caused plenty of conjecture — both in regards to the incident itself and how the case played out.

Houli was attempting to escape the clutches of Carlton’s Jed Lamb, when he threw back a swinging forearm, which caught Lamb in the head, knocking him out.

The veteran Tiger was sent directly to the Tribunal for the incident, receiving a two-week ban — after receiving character references from the likes of Malcolm Turnbull and Waleed Aly.

The AFL then appealed the Tribunal’s verdict, with Houli instead handed a four-game suspension.

“The decision’s been made and I accept it,” Houli said afterwards.

“My concern is and always has been with Jed and I hope he recovers really quickly.

“We move on, that’s life. I’ll do my best to help the team prepare for the next few games.”


Perhaps the most infamous incident of recent times was Barry Hall’s shocking punch that knocked out Brent Staker in 2008.

The Swans star was being marked by the Eagles defender when he tried to shrug off Staker, then flung out a right arm at the Eagle’s head, before clocking him in the jaw with an ugly left-hand punch.

Brent Staker is taken from the field. Pic: Phil HillyardSource: News Limited

Hall pleaded guilty to striking and was handed a seven-week suspension by the AFL Tribunal, accepting the penalty.

“Just in terms of the outcome I was prepared to cop whatever came my way,” Hall said at the time.

“Seven weeks we think’s fair, as I said we were prepared to cop whatever came my way.

“I just want to take this opportunity to once again apologise to Brent Staker for the incident.

“It’s unacceptable and I will try and better myself so it doesn’t happen again.”


FORMER Bomber Dean Solomon was in his second year at Fremantle when he fronted the AFL Tribunal for striking Geelong’s Cameron Ling.

Ling had just handballed the ball when Solomon ran past the Cat and elbowed him in the head.

The elbow left Ling with a fractured cheekbone.

“Basically guys, I wanted to come in here, I’ve asked the Fremantle footy club if I could do this, I want to apologise to Cameron Ling and the Geelong Football Club for my incident today,” he said.

“It’s probably one of the lowest points in my career — it’s unacceptable, and I want to apologise — as I said — to Cameron and the Geelong Football Club.

“I don’t want this to benefit me in anyway — I deserve my penalty, whatever that will be, but I do want to apologise to Cameron, so thanks guys.”

Dean Solomon runs away from Cameron LingSource: Supplied

Solomon fronted the AFL Tribunal and was given an eight-game suspension.



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