Tomas Bugg faces a lengthy AFL suspension after an ugly hit on Sydney’s Callum Mills labelled a “dog act” by the Swans.
The Melbourne midfielder was reported for knocking out Mills with a nasty left hook to the chin behind the play in the opening minutes of Friday night’s game at the MCG.
Mills was concussed and played no further part in the game as the Swans went on to claim a 35-point win.
Bugg is likely to be referred directly to the tribunal, and he faces a lengthy ban after a week where the fallout from Bachar Houli’s hit on Jed Lamb dominated the headlines.
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The 24-year-old insisted he had not intended to hurt Mills, but the incident left his teammates less than impressed.
“It was a pretty dog act,” Swans forward Tom Papley told AAP.
“That’s not how we go about it, it’s not what the league’s about. If you want to be tough, you be tough at the contest, not 80 metres off the ball.
“He’ll have to deal with it. He’ll cop his whack and we move on.”
Bugg is believed to have apologised to Mills after the game, and later said he would cop whatever consequences came his way.
“I saw the footage and it does look really bad,” he told the Seven Network.
“I’m a bit embarrassed. It looks really bad but my genuine intent was not to hurt Callum.
“It was disappointing he couldn’t take part in the rest of the game and going forward I hope he’s OK.”
Melbourne stars Jesse Hogan and Jordan Lewis both copped suspensions for behind-play incidents earlier in the year, but coach Simon Goodwin denied the Demons had a discipline problem.
“It’s not what we want to stand for as a footy club,” he said on Friday night.
“Our boys are certainly up for playing a physical brand of footy but we’ve got to learn to play within the rules.”
There is a strong likelihood the Mills incident will be classed as intentional conduct with high impact to the head, just as Richmond defender Houli’s hit on Carlton forward Lamb was.
The AFL appeals board this week doubled an initial two-week suspension handed to Houli by the tribunal.
Melbourne’s AFL injury list continues to grow
Meanwhile, c-captain Jack Viney sat out the second half of the round 15 game after succumbing to a plantar fascia injury.
He told the Seven Network he had been managing the foot issue throughout the year and it had flared up during the game.
Dom Tyson hurt his knee in the last few seconds of Friday night’s loss, with Fox Sports reporting on Saturday that Tyson could not drive his car to the morning recovery and is in doubt for Sunday week’s game against Carlton. Scans will determine the extent of the injury.
The timing couldn’t be much worse for Melbourne, who have already lost Viney’s co-captain Nathan Jones, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett and Christian Salem to injuries.
Hogan and Garlett have a slim chance to return to face Carlton next week but Watts is set to miss at least another week with his hamstring injury after suffering a setback at training, with coach Simon Goodwin admitting: “It’s not looking great for him”.