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Jonas will miss first final after accepting ban

Football

Port Adelaide will be without important defender Tom Jonas for the first week of the AFL finals after he accepted a two-match ban.

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The AFL tribunal won’t sit tonight after Jonas and all other players cited by the match review panel accepted their sanctions.

The Power defender was charged with rough conduct after he made high contact in an off-the-ball incident that floored the Western Bulldog’s Luke Dahlhaus during Port’s win in Ballarat.

The incident was assessed as intentional contact with low impact to the head.

Jonas, who served a six-week suspension for striking West Coast’s Andrew Gaff last season, had his penalty increased to three games due to his bad record, but will miss two with his early guilty plea.

Port host Gold Coast on Saturday night and need a win to have any hope of finishing in the top four.

If they fail to secure the finals double chance, the bye before the major round adds another level of complication for Jonas’s return if the Power progress beyond week one, as the key backman won’t have played for three weeks before he is again eligible to take the field.

 

All clubs in the finals will have a bye following this weekend’s ultimate home-and-away round. Last year, the bye proved telling for the Western Bulldogs’ fairytale finals series, coming from outside the top four to win the premiership.

“It’s fantastic, it should stay,” Voss told reporters yesterday.

“I know people talk about top four, and if they win that first week (of finals) what does that mean for that particular team.

“But I think it’s a really great opportunity to celebrate football. Everyone take a breath, come in fit and healthy.

“And a great way to be able to display other things about our game, some of the award ceremonies… it seems to be pretty favourable to do it in that week.

“So I think there’s a lot more advantages to it.”

Adelaide wingman David Mackay. though, insisted players preferred to keep playing.

“From a player’s perspective, we like to play,” he said yesterday.

“The coaching staff and the medical staff will sit down and work out what is the best path forward.

“But it’s really important as a player to keep that continuity and keep playing, particularly at this time of year.

“To maintain that match fitness, that match hardness, is crucial.”

But Mackay said the bye wouldn’t present undue problems for players.

“It doesn’t really faze me too much, it works in some cases, it doesn’t in others,” he said.

“It’s a matter of planning your training around that, and if you get that right then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.”

The ladder-leading Crows are in the midst of a nine-day break ahead of Sunday’s away game against West Coast.

They’ll then likely host a final on September 7 or 8, before the prospect of another week off entering a preliminary final.

“If you plan out your training accordingly then you can make it work for you,” Mackay said.

 

-AAP

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