RE: Is Gaff a thug?
I don't know that I'd call him a thug, but it was a thug act.
Whether it was out of character, or a chest punch gone wrong or a blatant deliberate act I think there are 3 key things counting against Gaff.
1 - it was a long long way behind play
2 - the tribunal is very much reactionary in their application of penalties. Brayshaw's injuries are severe. He wont play again this year, and will be lucky to be on solid foods by the time finals come around.
3 - Jeremy Cameron v Harriss Andrews. This is pretty much the precedent that combines the first 2. Cameron got 5 weeks, for a crude spoil attempt that was in play. Given Gaff's strike was nowhere near the ball my gut feel is 6-8 weeks.
I also think he's done at West Coast too, I think it will be a very awkward place for him with Hamish Brayshaw playing for them.