‘As vicious an incident as you’re going to see’

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has hit out at Kysaiah Pickett for his bump on Bulldogs gun Bailey Smith, saying it’s “as vicious an incident as you’re going to see for a long time”.

Pickett’s name was taken in the second quarter of Melbourne’s 17.13 (115) to 9.11 (65) win at the MCG after he floored Smith and kickstarted a brawl.

The 21-year-old forward was one of the best players on the ground, kicking an equal-game high four goals, but was cited for the ugly hit on Smith.

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Speaking on Nine’s Sunday AFL Footy Show, Cornes said Pickett was lucky Smith was able to get up.

“That’s a human missile there … launching himself really dangerously,” he said.

“He chooses to bump, he leaves the ground, and he launches, and he’s really lucky that Bailey Smith got up.”

The AFL tribunal has historically been lenient on incidents where there has been no injury. AFL.com journalist Damian Barrett suggested Smith’s lack of injury will mean Pickett may only be hit with a careless charge, and suspended for a week.

“But we’re in a period of this game where there’s a raft of litigation … and there may well be an argument that the intent of that – within play albeit – was worse than some other instances you see when it’s out of play,” he said.

“As such, I’d be surprised if he’s not out for two weeks given that.”

Cornes hits out at ‘vicious’ Pickett hit

Richmond great Nathan Brown said he would like to see Pickett face a harsher penalty.

“Does (match review officer) Michael Christian have the ability to override the point system and say, ‘OK, we’re going to ban the action, not the outcome.

“This is the perfect example. Round one – and you don’t want to see anybody miss a game – but you ban the action and does he have an override button? Where he goes, ‘Well, one week doesn’t fit. Does it become three weeks on my override’.”

While Christian is bound by the laws in front of him, the AFL are able to come over the top and make their own suspensions.

“The AFL can ultimately do whatever it wants to do,” Barrett said.

“As we’ve come to know with concussion, it’s not just the impact of this on the concussion itself, it’s the repetitive head jolting, which which Smith clearly suffered in some form.”

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