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Dayne Zorko to lead Brisbane in finals clash despite fallout from ugly sledge


Brisbane has resisted calls for Dayne Zorko to be immediately stripped of the captaincy for its first final after he was labelled a “recidivist” for his sledge at Melbourne’s Harrison Petty.

Zorko has come under fire for the sledge, which left Petty in tears, but has since apologised, with the AFL ruling that there will be no further penalties handed down to the 33-year-old.

Both clubs involved also consider the matter closed after Zorko’s apology was accepted by Petty, and the five-time Brisbane best and fairest winner will lead the Lions in their elimination final against Richmond in a fortnight.

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“To be perfectly honest, our goal right now is to make sure Dayne is OK from a mental health perspective,” Brisbane football boss Danny Daly told SEN.

“He’s spent a weekend at home on his own with his partner working through it, but from a club perspective, we’ve put it to bed and Melbourne accepted our apology on Saturday and that’s where it lies.

“We’re just making sure Dayne is going OK, that’s what we need to do as a football club. He came out and apologised on Saturday … from a mental health perspective we just need to make sure he’s going OK.”

Zorko has been involved in a number of heated confrontations during his time as skipper, including an infamous rivalry with Gold Coast star Touk Miller which spans across a number of seasons.

However, Daly said the skipper had “done a lot right” despite his repeated incidents which caused Kangaroos great David King to label him a “recidivist”.

King took issue with both Brisbane and the AFL Players’ Association’s response to the incident.

“You’ve got to shift away from that, that’s unacceptable. He’s a recidivist and the players know it,” King told SEN’s Whateley on Monday.

“I was probably disappointed Brisbane didn’t make their own statement on this.

“And then, as a secondary action to that, I don’t know why the players don’t have their own code?

“I love Patrick Dangerfield, but if he’s the president of the AFLPA, they should be calling out one of their own and holding him to account for treating one of their own in this fashion.

“Harrison Petty should be looked after as much as anyone.

“I think going forward they should look at some (punishment) – they don’t have to suspend their own – but there has to be some sort of sanction for players who disrespect the playing group like this.

“It’s always left to the AFL, and this was awkward for the AFL, it got too hot for the AFL.”

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