‘Can’t miss a final on that!’ Giants set to launch last-ditch appeal for ‘incredulous’ ban

Toby Bedford shouldn’t miss a final for his bump on Blue Zac Fisher, Fox Footy’s Mark Robinson says, as the Giants reportedly prepare to lodge a final appeal.

On Monday the AFL Tribunal upheld Bedford’s one-match ban, despite Fisher giving evidence he didn’t feel any impact above his shoulders and “felt fine” after the bump in the Giants’ win over Carlton in the final round.

Fisher was also able to play out the game.

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But in a Tribunal hearing that lasted just over two hours, Bedford’s ban remains and he’ll miss his side’s do-or-die final against St Kilda.

“It felt like the Giants had made such a good case – I was surprised that evidence brought that verdict at the end,” AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley said.

“I feel Toby Bedford is incredibly unlucky.

“If this were Bobby Hill or Jack Ginnivan we’d be at the picket lines over it.

“I really feel for him. I think the scenario played against him.”

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Robinson agreed with comments made by Collingwood great Nathan Buckley during the week on SEN that Bedford was simply executing a move taught at junior level – handball and protect.

“You’ve got to put some strength into your (block) motion. If you don’t, you’re going to get bowled over by the guy coming the other way who you are blocking,” Robinson said.

“They will appeal.

“They are incredulous the Giants about this decision before it went to the Tribunal.

“You can’t miss a final on that!”

Fox Footy’s David Zita covered the Tribunal hearing and said the verdict boiled down to the question “was forceful contact made between Toby Bedford’s shoulder and Zac Fisher’s head or neck?”, with deliberation over what forceful means.

“Again it’s forceful – what is forceful? You’ve got to have intent! We’ve spoken for years about this,” Robinson said.

“Could he have gone through the line and blocked him that way? He could have, but there’s not a rule saying that you have to do that!

“Did they believe Fisher or not?”

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Whateley then added: “I don’t think overly. I don’t think having victim evidence actually works any more … it’s very rare it happens and it didn’t help in this instance.”

Fox Footy’s Jordan Lewis had previously said the bump laid by Bedford was “a football act”.

“For me that does not sit well if Toby Bedford misses a game.”

Speaking on SEN, Buckley said Bedford’s movements were an “ingrained” technique from childhood training.

“There wasn’t any malice, any recklessness,” he said.

“It just simply doesn’t reach the threshold.”

The AFL successfully argued forceful contact was made above Fisher’s shoulder.

The Giants have until Tuesday to appeal.

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