Melbourne forward Tom Bugg has apologised for his hit that saw Callum Mills concussed on Friday night, during his side’s 35-point loss to Sydney at the MCG.
The incident occurred just minutes into the opening term, as Bugg struck Mills in the head with a punch that saw him hit the ground and be helped from the field. Mills did not return to the action.
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The forward joined Channel Seven‘s coverage of the match post-game to address the issue, and said he never intended to hurt Mills.
“I saw the footage and it does look really bad. I’m a bit embarrassed, my genuine intent – it looks really bad – but it wasn’t to hurt Callum,” Bugg told Channel Seven following the match.
“It was disappointing he couldn’t take part in the rest of the game, and going forward I hope he’s OK.
“I went and tried to speak to him after the game but I could understand he didn’t want to speak to me too much. I just hope for him and his family that he gets better and he can play next week.”
After Bachar Houli was handed a four-match ban for his hit on Carlton’s Jed Lamb during the week, Bugg said he understands the incident will not be tolerated by the AFL, and is ready for whatever punishment comes his way.
“We saw the case last week with Bachar and for me, I’ll cop the consequences that come my way,” Bugg said.
“The AFL don’t tolerate it and I don’t tolerate it either. It was a silly move by me but going forward, I’ll rectify it, I’ll do what I can.
“I’ve let my teammates down now so I’ll go away for whatever time I have off and train hard and come back in and help the team do what we have to do.”
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin also had his say on the incident, and said Bugg’s actions in no way reflect what his club are about.
“Clearly Tom’s very remorseful about it and it’s not a great look and what will be will be. It’s not what we want to stand for as a footy club, so we’ll deal with what comes his way,” Goodwin told reporters post game.
“He’s extremely remorseful about what took place. I don’t know if it had a great impact on our team but it’s clearly not how we want to be seen as a footy club.”