‘I didn’t want to hurt him’, says sorry Cameron
BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan says the AFL does not need to introduce a send-off rule despite Lions vice-captain Harris Andrews being wiped out by a high shot from GWS star Jeremy Cameron in the Giants' 27-point win at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Cameron and Andrews entered a marking contest from opposite directions 11 minutes into the first term and Cameron's elbow/forearm collided with Andrews' head.
The mid-air impact meant one of the Lions' best players was out for the count before his body hit the ground and he sat out the rest of the game.
The incident will most likely be referred straight to the tribunal with Cameron facing a long suspension.
Lions players remonstrated with Cameron, who has been charged on 10 occasions in his AFL career for two suspensions and five weeks on the sidelines.
Andrews - who has been in stellar form in 2018 to be mentioned as a possible All-Australian candidate - was put in a neck brace taken from the field in the medi-cab.
He was making jokes with medical staff as he received stitches in his jaw but was ruled out of action for the rest of the match.
Fagan said there was no doubt Brisbane was "disadvantaged" by the loss of Andrews but a red-card system was not required for the code even though GWS' next few opponents will be the ones to benefit if Cameron is rubbed out .
"It disadvantaged us quite a bit. Harris is probably the best key defender going around at the moment and he started the game pretty well,'' Fagan said.
"It (the red card debate) comes up but it's so hard for the AFL to decide on that because if an umpire makes a mistake and a big final is lost because of it…it's a real tough issue.
"It hurt us tonight (but) we've gone this far in the game, how long have we been playing it for? 100-odd years without a red card system? I don't think we need a red card system.
"I don't really want to comment (on the incident). The judicial system will deal with that. It was obviously a pretty hard blow…wiser men than I will do that.
"He's (Andrews) a bit sick and sorry. It was a big knock…I don't think he remembers too much about what happened.''
Andrews approached Cameron after the game and the pair shook hands and had a short chat.
Cameron said there was no malice intended in the incident.
"I just saw the ball coming in and I like to play the ball really hard. It was unfortunate I hit him in the head. I definitely didn't want to hurt him like that,'' Cameron said.
"I just played the ball on its merits and I like hitting it nice and hard.
"He's a great young player and playing some awesome football so it would have been great to have him out on the ground and go against him head-to-head.
"It's unfortunate the way it panned out. Definitely didn't want to hurt him.''
Giants coach Leon Cameron defended his player.
"Jeremy is a ball player, he's hard at it," the GWS coach said.
"He goes out and he just wants to get the footy as hard as he possibly can. Things are going to happen in a footy game."
Cameron's indiscretion threatens to derail the surging Giants who have won their past three games to be lurking on the outskirts of the top eight.
GWS faces Hawthorn (Spotless Stadium), West Coast (Perth Stadium), Richmond (Spotless Stadium) and Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval) in the next four rounds.
Former AFL Umpires boss, ex-Lions list manager and Hawthorn great Peter Schwab tweeted that it was "very ordinary by Cameron''.
Injured Lions enforcer Mitch Robinson summed up the anger in the Lions camp when he tweeted, "Geez, I wish I was out there" with an added angry emoji face.
To add insult to injury for Brisbane, Cameron kicked two goals in the first term as the Giants took a 12-point lead into quarter-time.
Brisbane's defensive stocks took another blow after the loss of Andrews when fellow key back Darcy Gardiner suffered an ankle injury and was forced from the field for an extended period. He returned but was hobbling badly.
Andrews returned to the Lions bench during the second quarter as a sore and sorry spectator when the Giants extended their lead to 24 points at halftime.
Brisbane kicked the last three goals of the third quarter to reduce the margin to 21 points at the last change.
The Lions got to within 15 points after an Allen Christensen goal but the Giants kicked away to repel the brave effort from the home side with the final margin flattering GWS.
The Giants midfield of Josh Kelly, Lachlan Whitfield, Dylan Shiel, Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio were instrumental for GWS while Daniel Rich and Luke Hodge were the best for Brisbane.
Kelly is building to some of his best form after an injury-interrupted first half of the year.
The smooth-moving 23-year-old led the Giants for disposals, score involvements, metres gained and also hit the scoreboard with two assists and two goals.
Hodge had his best game for the Lions, winning his most disposals in a game (30) and kicking his first goal for the club.
It was a relatively uncontested match with just 32 per cent of possessions won from a contest which was the third-lowest rate in a match this year.
The Lions' tackling was poor with only 34 tackles in total. They had 10 players fail to lay a tackle.