North Melbourne forward Nick Larkey could get a stint on the sidelines after tunneling Carlton defender Lewis Young into a marking match on Saturday night.
The incident took place as Young went up for a relatively undisputed goal, with Larkey acting alone to get the defender’s legs out from under him by choosing to punch while the Blue was in the air.
As Young rose unharmed, the act set off an all-in scuffle that resulted in Larkey’s guernsey being ripped from his body.
As a result, leading AFL journalist Damian Barrett believes the 23-year-old would have to miss two weeks at the hands of the match review officer due to the potential for significant injury from the act.
“This incident will be subject to the competition rating agency (decision),” said Barrett Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“I think that’s a two-week incident that Nick Larkey did to Lewis Young.
“He made contact with his most vulnerable point when both feet were off the ground and headed for that goal.
“He has the right to go for that goal without that treatment – it doesn’t suit Nick Larkey – that has to be said, but I can’t see him play for two weeks.”
“I think that’s what Nick meant. We have to be tougher there.’@MatthewLloyd18 compares Larkey’s tunneling act to Paddy Ryder’s bump that got him banned for two games. #9AFLSFS † @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/xF6mYrrcp7
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 1, 2022
The great Matthew Lloyd of Essendon compared the incident to that between St Kilda’s Paddy Ryder and Hawthorn’s Will Day on lap 4, with the saint being banned for two weeks after leaving the young Hawk with a concussion after a collision.
“With Paddy Ryder, it may have been an accident that he was given two weeks to hit someone on the head,” Lloyd said.
“But I think that’s what Nick meant, so I think we have to be tougher there.
“Sometimes a guy gets a concussion, but you have to go.
“But what about when you have a man who knows what he’s doing and can potentially hurt (his opponent)?”
While Barrett expects the MRO to consider Young was not injured, he thinks the “potential damage” could have been much greater, prompting the competition to make a statement with a suspension.
“Young has risen, and they will take that into account,” Barrett added.
“But the potential damage that comes with that I think is greater than the Ryder incident.”
If Larkey misses two weeks, he will sit out North Melbourne’s rounds 8 and 9 clashes against Fremantle and Port Adelaide respectively.