West Coast Eagle, Andrew Gaff's physical gaffe and the repercussions

A closer look of the incident

West Coast Eagle, Andrew Gaff's physical gaffe and the repercussions

Western Derby Forty Eight had many highlights. The first ever Ben Allan-Ross Glendenning medal officially awarded to Elliot Yeo, possibly the mark of the year by Mickey Walters… but this derby will forever be remembered for that hit.

It was the third quarter and the game had been spectacularly uneventful. West Coast were dominant and in control, Fremantle had glimpses of form but couldn’t convert. West Coast were cruising to its seventh Derby victory in a row.

Then on wing, out of the play, a block from Andrew Brayshaw seemed to prompt Eagles form player Andrew Gaff to whack him in the mouth. Brayshaw went down with a broken jaw and four displaced teeth, and was walked off the ground with blood oozing from his mouth. The Dockers players were seething when they saw the replay on the big screen and proceeded to attack and hit Gaff at every opportunity for the rest of the game.

The events that ensued were described as ‘feral’ on the Triple M AFL broadcast. The game will be remembered as the most bruising affair between the two clubs, only behind the Demolition Derby in 2000.  

The incident and the subsequent reactions and actions of the players and coaches have left a myriad of questions concerning the game.

  1. What does this mean for the Brayshaw family? Freo coach Ross Lyon was particularly bullish after the game, showing concern for Brayshaw’s mother who was ‘in tears’ after the incident. The Brayshaw’s are a successful AFL family. Angus is well established at the Melbourne Footy Club and Andrew is having steller first year at the Dockers. What about the third and youngest Brayshaw brother, who plays at the Eagles? Could there be any animosity between Gaff and the youngest brother as they train alongside one another? How would Gaff explain his actions? Would he have to apologise personally to Hamish. A little intrigue.
  2. How long will Gaff been out for? This is a tough one. Barry Hall received seven weeks for knocking out Staker for a few pushes… Tom Bugg got five for a cowards punch on Conor Mills. Gaff has a clean record, no fines, and no suspensions… no nothing in 170 odd games of footy! Gerard Whately of Fox Footy fame says he should get 12 weeks, Tom Percy, a lawyer and Fremantly foundation member wants Gaff banned for life. My gut tells me it’s a five-weeker but with the volatility of the tribunal who really knows?
  3. Should there be a red card system? 100% yes. They have red cards in amateur and country footy and then at the next grade up in WAFL footy. Why is the AFL exempt from the rule? It is beyond ridiculous knowing that Gaff can continue to run around and influence the game while Fremantle’s rising star (he had 16 possessions prior to the hit) was off in an ambulance going to hospital. With technology, it should be easy to hand out retrospective cards and it makes it a fairer game. Surely once a player is removed from the game because of injury or concussion the instigator can be immediately investigated.
  4. Eagles fans giving Gaff a standing ovation? I can only hope that the Eagles fans at the game hadn’t seen the incident, because no player should be applauded for that sort of act. I understand Eagles fans are arguably the most passionate and loyal fans in the AFL, but no act like that, which would have been criminal if it were on the street, should be celebrated in any way, shape or form.
  5. Is that Gaff’s last game for the Eagles? Sadly for Eagles fans, most likely. There are some rumours he will commit to the club now to redeem himself, and close out any unfinished business if the team do make it to the big dance on that last day in Septermber. Personally, I’d say he probably has already made up his mind whether he is staying in Perth or returning to his home state, and I doubt any incidents like this would sway him. In fact, he would probably enjoy the holiday to return home and avoid the WA media hype, and of course livid Dockers fans. My tip (and I remind you I have a poor track record with these claims) is that Gaff will be traded to Geelong with a straight swap for a homesick Tim Kelly.

Western Derby Forty Eight had many highlights. The first ever Ben Allan-Ross Glendenning medal officially awarded to Elliot Yeo, possibly the mark of the year by Mickey Walters… but this derby will forever be remembered for that hit.

It was the third quarter and the game had been spectacularly uneventful. West Coast were dominant and in control, Fremantle had glimpses of form but couldn’t convert. West Coast were cruising to its seventh Derby victory in a row.

Then on wing, out of the play, a block from Andrew Brayshaw seemed to prompt Eagles form player Andrew Gaff to whack him in the mouth. Brayshaw went down with a broken jaw and four displaced teeth, and was walked off the ground with blood oozing from his mouth. The Dockers players were seething when they saw the replay on the big screen and proceeded to attack and hit Gaff at every opportunity for the rest of the game.

The events that ensued were described as ‘feral’ on the Triple M AFL broadcast. The game will be remembered as the most bruising affair between the two clubs, only behind the Demolition Derby in 2000.  

The incident and the subsequent reactions and actions of the players and coaches have left a myriad of questions concerning the game.

  1. What does this mean for the Brayshaw family? Freo coach Ross Lyon was particularly bullish after the game, showing concern for Brayshaw’s mother who was ‘in tears’ after the incident. The Brayshaw’s are a successful AFL family. Angus is well established at the Melbourne Footy Club and Andrew is having steller first year at the Dockers. What about the third and youngest Brayshaw brother, who plays at the Eagles? Could there be any animosity between Gaff and the youngest brother as they train alongside one another? How would Gaff explain his actions? Would he have to apologise personally to Hamish. A little intrigue.
  2. How long will Gaff been out for? This is a tough one. Barry Hall received seven weeks for knocking out Staker for a few pushes… Tom Bugg got five for a cowards punch on Conor Mills. Gaff has a clean record, no fines, and no suspensions… no nothing in 170 odd games of footy! Gerard Whately of Fox Footy fame says he should get 12 weeks, Tom Percy, a lawyer and Fremantly foundation member wants Gaff banned for life. My gut tells me it’s a five-weeker but with the volatility of the tribunal who really knows?
  3. Should there be a red card system? 100% yes. They have red cards in amateur and country footy and then at the next grade up in WAFL footy. Why is the AFL exempt from the rule? It is beyond ridiculous knowing that Gaff can continue to run around and influence the game while Fremantle’s rising star (he had 16 possessions prior to the hit) was off in an ambulance going to hospital. With technology, it should be easy to hand out retrospective cards and it makes it a fairer game. Surely once a player is removed from the game because of injury or concussion the instigator can be immediately investigated.
  4. Eagles fans giving Gaff a standing ovation? I can only hope that the Eagles fans at the game hadn’t seen the incident, because no player should be applauded for that sort of act. I understand Eagles fans are arguably the most passionate and loyal fans in the AFL, but no act like that, which would have been criminal if it were on the street, should be celebrated in any way, shape or form.
  5. Is that Gaff’s last game for the Eagles? Sadly for Eagles fans, most likely. There are some rumours he will commit to the club now to redeem himself, and close out any unfinished business if the team do make it to the big dance on that last day in Septermber. Personally, I’d say he probably has already made up his mind whether he is staying in Perth or returning to his home state, and I doubt any incidents like this would sway him. In fact, he would probably enjoy the holiday to return home and avoid the WA media hype, and of course livid Dockers fans. My tip (and I remind you I have a poor track record with these claims) is that Gaff will be traded to Geelong with a straight swap for a homesick Tim Kelly.

To listen to this from the Breakfast Show please go to the link from the Tiple M Esperance website.

https://omny.fm/shows/triple-m-esperance-breakfast/gaff-to-get-12-weeks-news-brayshaw-wont-eat-solids

 

;