Sydney’s ruck depth has taken a big hit ahead of its finals campaign, with Peter Ladhams handed a lengthy suspension for a crude off-ball hit during the Swans’ VFL finals loss on Saturday.
Ladhams on Monday was handed a four-week ban by the VFL match review after being charged with rough conduct against young Demon Taj Woewodin. He can accept a three-match suspension with an early plea.
After Woewodin had attempted to keep the ball in play close to the boundary line, Ladhams ran past the footy and charged into the Melbourne father-son selection, who was left dazed on the ground.
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Should Ladhams accept the suspension, he’d be ruled out for the Swans’ entire finals series, unless they lose to Melbourne on Friday night then still make the Grand Final.
It would leave the Swans’ AFL side short on ruck options should disaster strike in September.
Ladhams, who’s played 11 games for Sydney this season after being traded from Port Adelaide nearly 12 months ago, was handed a one-game ban in June this season for striking former Power teammate Ollie Wines.
The strike came amid a flurry of off-ball incidents that led to downfield free kicks.
“The moment of playing against the old team probably built up a bit,” Swans coach John Longmire said of Ladhams’ first encounter against Port.
“He grew up a street and a half away from Alberton Oval.
“It’s just one of those things that he let the moment get to him a little. He’s a 40-game player. He’s still learning about what the game provides, how he plays the game, but also the emotional aspects of the game.
“He’ll be fine, he’ll work through this. He didn’t get that part of it right. He’s been good for us this year.”
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