A crushing defeat for St Kilda could be made worse, with one of its defensive mainstays in danger of a long suspension after a dangerous high hit.
Defender Ben Long collected Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy high with the Saints holding a 29-point lead early in the second quarter, with the Dockers big man unable to return for the remainder of the match after being concussed in the incident.
After facing a 36-point deficit at quarter-time, Fremantle surged to claim a famous 12. 7. (79) to 11. 7. (73) win at Metricon Stadium.
The quarter-time deficit faced by Justin Longmuir’s men was the biggest quarter-time deficit overcome by Fremantle in the club’s 25-year history.
Fremantle’s win was made even more impressive with Darcy and youngster Hayden Young unable to take part in the second half through injury.
For St Kilda, it will sweat on just how severe Long’s punishment is from the Match Review Officer Michael Christian, who is sure to take a harsh view on the incident.
Long will not be helped by the fact that Darcy was unable to continue after the hit.
Following the incident, Kangaroos great David King implored the MRO to take a hard stance on the high bump.
“The mediocre penalties for bumping the head has never been a deterrent- hence we still see instances like the Sean Darcy – Ben Long clash,” he tweeted.
“Clear decision made by Long – 4 week suspension for me. Take a bloody stand!!”