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MRP tightrope: Fine line for Tigers, Cats

Dustin Martin is among several star players who must tread carefully in September - AFL,Tribunal,Dustin Martin,Trent Cotchin,Bachar Houli,Alex Rance,Tom Hawkins,James Parsons,Richmond Tigers,Geelong Cats
Dustin Martin is among several star players who must tread carefully in September

RICHMOND and Geelong will enter the finals on a suspension tightrope, with more players stuck with bad Tribunal records than any other contenders ahead of Friday night's blockbuster qualifying final.  

The Tigers have superstar Dustin Martin and captain Trent Cotchin each sitting on two fines for low-level offences, meaning a third minor offence will result in a one-match suspension. 

But they also have defenders Bachar Houli and Alex Rance carrying bad suspension records from the past two years, with that pair facing an extra week on the sidelines if they are suspended through the finals.

Houli's loading is the result of a four-match suspension for striking Jed Lamb in round 14, while Rance is still carrying a bad record from 2016 when he struck Melbourne forward Jack Watts.

A player who has been suspended for two matches or more in the past two AFL years is deemed to have a bad record. 

Geelong has no players sitting on two fines, but key forward Tom Hawkins and rookie James Parsons have bad suspension records.

West Coast is the only finalist that will enter the opening week with a clean slate among its selected players, with only injured rookie Simon Tunbridge carrying a bad record loading.

Sydney superstar Lance Franklin and Essendon key forward Joe Daniher will need to be on their best behaviour in Saturday's elimination final, with both sitting on two strikes for minor classifiable offences.

Minor classifiable offences can include strikes to the body or careless bumps or dangerous tackles that result in low impact.

Tom Hawkins has been suspended for four games in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
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Finals players with bad records

ADELAIDE
Charlie Cameron – two fines

ESSENDON
Joe Daniher – two fines

GEELONG
Nakia Cockatoo – two matches (sidelined for 1-2 weeks with a hamstring injury)
Tom Hawkins – four matches  
James Parsons – two matches   

GWS
Jeremy Cameron – four matches
Toby Greene – four matches

PORT ADELAIDE
Hamish Hartlett – two fines
Tom Jonas – seven matches 

RICHMOND
Trent Cotchin – two fines
Bachar Houli – four matches
Dustin Martin – two fines
Alex Rance – two matches   

SYDNEY 
Lance Franklin – two fines
Zak Jones – two fines

WEST COAST
Simon Tunbridge – three matches (sidelined for the season with a hamstring injury)