Newcastle Jets question judiciary consistency but opt against appeal of Roy O’Donovan suspension

THE Newcastle Jets have not appealed the two-match suspension handed to striker Roy O’Donovan despite questions raised over the consistency of the A-League’s independent match review panel.
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GONE: Roy O’Donovan leaves the pitch at McDonald Jones Stadium after being shown a straight red card on Saturday. Picture: AAP/Darren Pateman

O’Donovan was sent off for a 13th-minute clash with Sydney’s Jordy Buijs in Newcastle’s 2-1 win on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.The Irishman was given a straight red and the two-game sanction despite outcries over Buijs’ over-reaction to the seemingly accidental blow to the head.

The Jets had until midday on Tuesday to appeal, but after a delay following an inquiry to the FFA from theclub, Newcastle decided against challenging the penalty.

Earlier, Jets coach Ernie Merrick said he was “enormously disappointed” with the sanction before adding“but I don’t really want to say too much”.Merrick was fined $3000 for his post-match comments on the refereeing performance following the 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers in round 20.

@NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick on the injury to Nigel Boogaard @[email protected]老域名出售/5nxaHzRZ7W

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, [email protected] coach Ernie Merrick on the departure of @[email protected]@ALeaguepic.twitter老域名出售/OJ5i2RIHHB

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, 2018

“He was off after 10 minutes so that’s virtually a suspension for one game, and now he’s got another two,” Merrick added about the O’Donovan sanction.“And comments made after the game by some players in the opposition side aren’t sanctioned?I just can’t work it out anymore, but I won’t say too much.”

Merrick appeared toreferto comments from Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque made after the loss to Newcastle,which included:​”There were a lot of contentious calls, there will be a different referee in the grand final so what happened tonight won’t happen again.”

Merrick said replacing O’Donovan and Japan-bound Andrew Nabbout, the Jets’ mainstriking options this year, will be achallenge.

“Joey Champness is playing really well every time he comes on and he’sprobably due a start,” he said.“There’s Kosta Petratos, as well as maybe moving a midfielder forward, a very attacking type of midfielder, or we can go with one of the younger ones, I guess Angus Thurgate, so we’ve got a few options.”

A plus for the Jets is the expected return of South Americans Ronny Vargas and Pato Rodriguez for their next clash, againstWellington on March 17.Vargas has not played since a sickening ankle injury in round three and Rodriguez (calf) has missed the past two games.

Merrick said Rodriguez was “very fit” andwould able to start against Wellington, but Vargas come off the bench as he rebuilds hit match fitness.

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