May might be out until June after head bump

Moment before impact... Stefan Martin about to confront Steven May. Photo: Getty Images.
Moment before impact... Stefan Martin about to confront Steven May. Photo: Getty Images.

SHIRTFRONT indeed ...

The Gabba hasn't had a more unpopular figure gracing it since English cricketer Stuart Broad in the 2013-14 Ashes series.

But, at least Australia's Public Enemy No.1 that summer didn't knock anyone out.

The same could not be said about Gold Coast defender Steven May, who delivered the bone-jarring hit that floored Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin just before the main break of QClash 11.

The 105kg big man may have been out cold before he hit the Gabba turf, but the game had decidedly more heat in it after that.

Taking the Lions-Suns rivalry to new heights - or lows - May had lined up Martin as the two were converging on the ball, and delivered the most brutal of bumps - one that may be been lauded in days gone by but simply doesn't wash now.

May was booed whenever he went near the ball in the second half, presumably by Brisbane fans, but both coaches, the Suns' Rodney Eade and the Lions' Justin Leppitsch, may have felt compelled to join in.

May's hit, which saw him rising off the ground to collect Martin's head with his shoulder, not only torpedoed the Suns' chances on Saturday night, but will have aftershocks.

 

Brisbane Lions players remonstrate with Steven May after his hit on Stefan Martin. Photo: AAP Image
Brisbane Lions players remonstrate with Steven May after his hit on Stefan Martin. Photo: AAP Image

 

Yes, it was nice to see May head for Martin again after the game, this time with an outstretched hand and, no doubt, a heartfelt apology.

But the fullback will almost certainly be handballed off to the tribunal by the Match Review Panel today, where a lengthy suspension awaits.

He has a poor record, having received three weeks for a high hit on Lions skipper Tom Rockliff early last season. Ironically, it was only days earlier he had said he had to "learn to control my aggression" and "stay out of the umpire's book".

No such luck. This latest ban will come on top of an injury to fellow key defender Rory Thompson (ankle), and with the Suns to face North, loaded with tall forwards, this week, and Geelong next - Eade may see his side go from being 3-0 to 3-3.

Leppitsch, meanwhile, would have been rapt with the way his team defied the odds to come away with the points, but filthy on two fronts.

He was obviously left hamstrung by the Sun's indiscretion, down a player - his sole ruckman no less, with pinch-hitters Josh Walker and Harris Andrews having to share the load from there on in.

With May free to carry on, it begged the question: Should red cards finally be introduced to the AFL?

Then there is the even more serious issue of concussion.

Though Martin appeared ok, it was only a couple of weeks ago Leppitsch was forced to farewell defender Justin Clarke due to one too many head knocks.

The AFL has been doing its best to keep the head safe from accidental incidents let alone intentional ones.

Suffice to say, with an example to be set for the rest of the competition, May might not be back until June.



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