Brisbane Lions’ Irish import Pearce Hanley says he is relieved Carlton speedster Chris Yarran got off on a striking charge.
Brisbane Lions Irish import Pearce Hanley says he is glad Carlton speedster Chris Yarran got off on a striking charge but has stopped short of admitting to milking the incident.
The AFL match review panel threw out the charge stemming from Brisbane’s shock seven-point last round win over the Blues due to insufficient force.
Yarran missed a kickable goal and vented his frustration by lashing out at Hanley, giving away a 50m penalty while being reported as the match dramatically swung the Lions’ way late in the match.
Hanley said he was relieved Yarran was available for Carlton’s Friday night clash with Geelong.
“It just happens on the footy field. He missed an important shot and I got into him, he retaliated – it is what it is,” Hanley said on Tuesday.
“I am happy he got off, happy he didn’t get a week for it.”
Hanley quickly dropped to his knees after the Yarran contact which appeared to be on the Irishman’s neck.
“I was pretty cooked. I was happy to get a free kick,” Hanley smiled.
“To be honest if he had not hit me and the ball had left the area I would have been down on my honkers anyway.”
Hanley did admit that it was time the Lions’ senior heads followed their young guns’ lead, starting with Saturday night’s Etihad Stadium clash with Western Bulldogs.
Hanley said the enthusiasm of the likes of impressive draftees James Aish, Tom Cutler and Nick Robertson had rubbed off on the out-of-sorts leaders – himself included.
“It’s no secret. A lot of the leaders – me especially – have not been playing well so far,” he said.
“There was definite improvement on the weekend.
“But we need to stand up because we do have young players looking for us to lead.”
With two reserves games under his belt, Stefan Martin is set to step up instead of basketball convert Archie Smith with ruckman Trent West (knee) ruled out for the season.
“It’s devastating for Westy. He’s been an amazing pick-up for us,” Hanley said.
“He is a warrior. We are very upset for him, but he will bounce back.”