The Gold Coast Suns will be challenging the one-game ban of captain James Tsitas at the VFL tribunal, ahead of the VFL Grand Final this weekend.
Tsitas was reported following an incident late in the first quarter of the Suns’ reserves 15-point victory over Box Hill Hawks on Saturday.
The Greek-Australian had collected Hawks player Jacob Koschitzke high in a marking contest that resulted in the 23-year-old collapsing to the turf.
Obvious concerns had arisen that the youngster was concussed but he recovered and kicked a goal following a 50m penalty.
Commentators were somewhat split on whether the 28-year-old would get suspended.
Three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Chris Johnson was certain he would miss the grand final, while Hawthorn premiership winner Campbell Brown described how he saw both sides of the coin, calling it “touch and go”.
“(Tsitas) didn’t follow through with a swinging arm but it was up there to spoil. You just hope, as a player, and I’ve been there, that Koschitzke gets up and plays the game out,” he said.
“It was a genuine spoiling attempt. In fact, I would argue he got a piece of the ball (and) the forearm hits Koschitzke in the head.”
VFL commentator Jason Bennett also spotted the key detail.
“It’s important to note it was a clenched fist but the contact was made with the forearm, not the fist,” he said.
“A moment James Tsitas, I’m sure, would wish he could take back.”
The incident was graded carless conduct, medium impact and high contact, warranting a week suspension.
Gold Coast have immediately challenged the ban of the important player who has averaged over 21 disposals and 3.4 tackles a game this season, and collected 24 touches in the prelim win.
“We believe we have a strong case and look forward to it being heard at the VFL Tribunal,” club football boss Wayne Campbell said.
The hearing will take place at 5.30pm on Tuesday.
Perhaps a sign of the club’s confidence in their challenge, Tsitas took part in a grand final promotional photo shoot on Monday.
If the Greek is to successfully overturn his ban, he’ll be looking to win his third reserves flag, having won two in the SANFL prior to joining the Suns at the end of 2021.