Given he incurred $4500 worth of fines in 2018 it might be time for Cunnington to give Melbourne co-captain Nathan Jones a bell for ways to manage such fines on the home front as the Demons skipper had incurred $27,750 worth of fines in his career heading into this season but has never missed a match through suspension.
Next step for Cunnington for a similar transgression is an $8000 fine reduced to $5000 for a guilty plea so he is in more strife than someone driving around on 11 demerit points right now with that sort of sanction hanging over his shoulder.
Perhaps Cunnington, whose birthday falls on the last day of the financial year, will have to scrub a new fishing rod off his Christmas list this year unless he can convince the Kangaroos that his form is good enough to get him a bonus.
For the record all those fines go toward concussion research this season as per an agreement with the AFLPA.
Nice to meet you ‘Merrick’
The Irish-born defender Mark O’Connor played his best game for the Cats on Sunday when he won every contest in defence to earn coaches votes for the first time.
His left-foot pass late in the game after he had taken a bounce earned a wry smile from the coach Chris Scott who admitted the 22-year-old continually surprises the coaching staff with what he can do given he had not played the game before he arrived in October 2016.
What still makes people laugh is how he earned his nickname Merrick, which goes back to when Geelong’s premiership defender Tom Lonergan introduced himself to the new players one pre-season.
Not always the closest follower of player movement Lonergan was not exactly all over the names of the recruits as he later referred to Mark as Merrick when he began talking about the new arrivals to other people around the club.
As soon as Lonergan’s teammates realised the Irish accent had the man from Yarrawonga under the impression O’Connor’s name was Mark rather than Merrick they couldn’t hide their delight labelling the talented Irishman with the nickname.
TK not far from the Eagles’ thoughts
While Snap Shot was down at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday we wandered into the toilets that double as a venue for the media conference of the visiting team’s coach and couldn’t help but notice the initials TK labelling one of the bags stored in the area in preparation for the chartered flight the club was catching from nearby Avalon Airport soon after the match.
Who knows whose bag it was, with the club opening up the flight to supporters to cover the cost but retaining the initialled piece of luggage will give the Eagles one less expenditure item if they manage to lure Tim Kelly out of Geelong having failed in their bid for the classy midfielder during last year’s trade period.
While we’ve mentioned Sunday’s media conference area (a location made famous when Fremantle’s Ross Lyon took exception to Shane McInnes’ questioning after the 2013 qualifying final) it’s not ideal that mild-mannered West Coast coach Adam Simpson had to alert one of the Eagles’ touring party that the conference was about to start with the warning ”are you right, Dean?” so the oblivious, suited gentleman taking a pee wasn’t caught short midway through the questioning.
With all the upgrades happening at GMHBA Stadium, perhaps that’s an area that could do with a makeover.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.