The Verdict: Grand Final
MRP Chairman Mark Fraser explains the findings from the Grand Final
Norm Smith medalist Brian Lake can accept a three week ban for his hit on Michael Walters
HAWTHORN stars Brian Lake and Cyril Rioli are expected to miss the start of the 2014 season after the pair were offered four and two match suspensions respectively following incidents from Saturday’s Grand Final.
Lake can accept a three-game suspension with an early guilty plea for striking Fremantle forward Michael Walters, while Rioli can accept a one-game ban for his ‘chicken wing’ tackle on Michael Barlow.
Both are victims of the Match Review Panel’s ‘double demerit points’ system for Grand Finals in which points for original offences are doubled.
Lake was charged with a level three striking offence (225 demerit points, two-match sanction) for his third quarter elbow to Walters.
However, his offence was doubled to draw 450 points and a four-game ban.
An early guilty plea reduces the sanction by 25 per cent to 337.5 points and a three game ban.
Likewise, Rioli’s level one engaging in rough conduct charge (125 points, one-match sanction) was doubled to 250 points.
An early guilty plea reduces the ban to 187.5 points and a one-game ban.
Meanwhile, Fremantle’s Nick Suban has been directed straight to the tribunal after he made “unnecessary and unreasonable” contact to the face of Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell during the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
Suban appeared to grab at the face of Mitchell while the two were wrestling on the ground.
The MRP could not determine the penalty.
The AFL implemented double demerit points for grand final offences after the infamous Alastair Lynch-Darryl Wakelin stoush in 2004.
After this game the AFL Commission wanted to clamp down on players who were willing to physically impose themselves on the game in the knowledge their penalty would be served at the start of the next season.
Lynch was suspended for 10 matches and fined $15,000 for two striking and four attempted striking charges in the game.