The Western Bulldogs will be without captain Katie Brennan for this weekend’s AFLW grand final against Brisbane after the star forward lost her appeal against a one-match ban for a sling tackle.
Brennan pleaded not guilty to a charge of rough conduct against Melbourne’s Harriet Cordner in the final quarter of their crucial AFLW match at Whitten Oval on Saturday night.
With her team leading by two points in a game that would see the winner into the grand final, Melbourne was trying to get out of its own defensive 50 when Cordner took hold of the ball and looked to handball it on.
Brennan tackled Cordner and slung her to the ground. Cordner was shaken but able to play out the game after she was awarded a free kick.
The incident was assessed originally as careless conduct with low impact to the head.
It was a second classifiable incident this season and classified as a two-match sanction, reduceable to a one-match penalty with an early plea.
A four-member jury found her guilty of the charge, and the decision means that the Bulldogs will lose Brennan — who kicked a goal in the team’s crucial win over the Demons — for Saturday’s grand final at Princes Park.
Her suspension has been increased to two games.
Brennan’s advocate Sam Norton did not dispute the original elements of the charge but argued the Bulldogs forward’s actions were not unreasonable under the high-pressure circumstances.
The offence would have drawn a reprimand on its own, but it was Brennan’s second classifiable offence of the season, which increased the penalty.
The jury found Brennan guilty after 22 minutes of deliberation.