Lions' Berry banned for Oliver eye contact

·2-min read

Brisbane are set to be without midfielder Jarrod Berry for their AFL preliminary final against Geelong after he received a one-match ban for making contact to the eyes of Melbourne star Clayton Oliver.

Berry played a key role in the Lions' come-from-behind 14.8 (92) to 11.13 (79) semi-final upset of Melbourne on Friday night.

But Berry's actions during a third-quarter scuffle with Oliver in the middle of the MCG, after he tackled the star Demon, drew the attention of match review officer Michael Christian.

Oliver pinned the Lion to the ground and Berry appeared to make hand contact with the Demon's face.

The star Demon made a complaint to an umpire moments later, pointing towards his eyes in the process.

Berry was charged with "unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region", with Christian assessing the incident as intentional conduct, high contact and low impact.

The Lions will have the option to challenge the finding at the AFL tribunal.

Speaking on Fox Footy post-match, Berry was adamant there was "nothing purposeful" in his contact and said the incident was "just a little scuffle" and "part of the contest".

Berry was on the receiving end of a similar incident last year, when Fremantle midfielder Andrew Brayshaw received a one-match suspension for intentionally making "unnecessary or unreasonable contact" to the Lion's eye region.

It is another September suspension for Brisbane after Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth were both banned from playing in the qualifying final.

Berry proved his value in a tight-checking role against Oliver in the second half on Friday night after Deven Robertson had started on the Melbourne champion.

Berry limited Oliver to seven disposals after halftime and had 22 of his own as the Lions ran over the top of their opponents.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan later revealed Berry had requested the defensive role days earlier, only to be told Robertson would get the first crack.

But Lions assistant coach Cameron Bruce demanded Berry be moved onto Oliver at the main break after the Demons midfielder had a big say in first-half proceedings.