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Polec in for some Brisbane niggle

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More niggle will be aimed at Jared Polec, but Brisbane vice-captain Tom Rockliff denies they will target the former Lion when they take on Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Rockliff was one of the more outspoken Lions when former No.5 draft pick Polec joined an off-season exodus from Brisbane claiming homesickness, a group later dubbed the “Go home five”.

“How can kids name there (sic) club they want to go to when they have played a handful of games? #aheadofyourself,” Rockliff tweeted at the time.

Lions teammate Pearce Hanley was a little more direct.

“Life goes on, you grow up and inevitably move away from home…#mummiesboysarehomenow,” the Irishman tweeted.

Polec, who left Brisbane after 16 games in three seasons, also raised eyebrows when he did not attend the Lions club champion dinner at the end of 2013.

Rockliff admitted Polec would be reminded of his past on Saturday, but baulked when asked if more brutal reprisals awaited the Port midfielder at Adelaide Oval.

“I’m sure he’ll get a couple of reminders from a few of the boys on the weekend, there’s no doubt about that,” Rockliff said.

“But to say we’re going to go out there and target him, I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

Polec would be in the Lions’s sights no matter what after hitting the ground running for fifth-placed Port, nabbing 24, 20 and 19 disposals respectively in his three games to date.

“Obviously we’d love to still have him (Polec) here playing for us, but that’s the circumstances he chose to go home,” Rockliff said.

“He’s got his chance. He is a fourth-year player and a first-round draft pick.

“It’s more important that we focus on us now and not worry about the past.”

It’s a wise approach for winless Brisbane after they were belted by 53 points last round by arch rivals the Gold Coast.

To make matters worse, third-last Brisbane will be without injured midfielder Daniel Rich (knee, season) and defender Daniel Merrett (two game ban) against Port.

At last night’s AFL Tribunal hearings Gold Coast’s Steven May successfully contested a rough-conduct charge and will avoid a one-game ban for a bump on Brisbane’s Dayne Zorko.

But Greater Western Sydney’s Devon Smith, who contested a one-match suspension for striking Melbourne’s Bernie Vince, will see his penalty stand.

May and Smith both appeared at Tuesday’s AFL Tribunal hearing via video link.

A request by GWS to hear evidence from Vince was rejected by tribunal chairman John Hassett.

Video footage of the clash between Smith and Vince was shown to the tribunal members Wayne Henwood, David Neitz and tribunal spokesman Wayne Schimmelbusch.

After the ball went out of bounds on the wing during Sunday’s round-three game at Spotless Stadium, Smith could be seen approaching Vince from behind and thumping him in the back.

Vince collapsed and was paid a free kick, although Smith said Vince had winked at him to suggest he had exaggerated contact.

“He’s a mate of mine. As he got up, I gave him a push,” Smith said.

“Forearm in his back.”

Smith said it was a wet day and Vince appeared to have lost his footing, but legal counsel Jeff Gleeson said this evidence should be disregarded by the tribunal.

Gleeson said Smith had struck Vince with an elbow to the ribs, but Smith said: “I didn’t intend throwing an elbow at all.”

Smith had struck Vince with some force, Gleeson said. Smith said he didn’t think the force was hard.

“Here there is a completely unsuspecting player, unguarded,” Gleeson said.

Smith will miss Saturday’s game in Canberra against the Western Bulldogs.

His carryover points meant an early guilty plea would still have meant a suspension.

The tribunal imposed a penalty of 193.75 points on Smith.

The news was better for May, who collided heavily with Zorko in an attempt to put the Brisbane player off target with his shot for goal.

May argued his chest and shoulder made contact with Zorko’s chest and shoulder and that he had no recollection of any head contact.

Gleeson said the video footage suggested May’s shoulder hit Zorko’s head.

“You can’t be satisfied there was high contact,” player advocate Tony Burns said.

Schimmelbusch said the tribunal jury found the charge of rough-conduct not proven.

Gold Coast, who host Hawthorn on Saturday night, have accepted a one-game suspension for Brandon Matera on a rough-conduct charge following a clash with Brisbane’s Jed Adcock.

Brisbane chose not to challenge a two-match ban given to Daniel Merrett for striking David Swallow.

West Coast’s Luke Shuey and Collingwood’s Taylor Adams accepted one-match bans for striking and rough conduct respectively.

 

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