WEST Coast midfielder Chris Masten has been found guilty by the Tribunal of biting Fremantle's Nick Suban and handed a two-match suspension in a case that will increase tensions between the two WA clubs.  

His suspension followed that of Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni, who was handed a four-week ban for a high hit on West Coast's Jamie Cripps.   

Click here to recap the Tribunal as it happened

In the first biting case since former Eagle Chris Lewis was banned for three matches in 1991, Masten pleaded not guilty and argued he had reacted instinctively to Suban pressing his forearm into his mouth.    

The Eagles even called a dental surgeon and jaw expert to explain the jaw reflex that could have taken place when Masten felt pressure inside his mouth, also using former coach John Worsfold as a character reference. 

But evidence from Suban and a damning photograph of the Dockers midfielder's arm meant the jury had little room to move in suspending Masten for biting.

Masten was clearly shattered when the result was handed down and will now miss matches against the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, returning for the final regular season match against St Kilda.

Asked if he had bitten Suban, Masten said: "Absolutely not … my mouth is wedged on his forearm. There was no intention to bite. I must have closed it by reaction". 

A photo of Suban's left forearm was shown to an AFL investigator on Monday and again to the Tribunal on Tuesday, showing a clear breaking of the skin, which Fremantle said had required treatment and a course of antibiotics.  

Suban also gave evidence that that backed up his match-day comments to an umpire, telling the Tribunal he felt a bite on his arm.   

Masten's case was built on the biting action being an involuntary reaction to pressure in his mouth, with the Eagles calling on dental surgeon Dr Robert Delcanho, who said a "physiological reflex" could have occurred "activating jaw-closing muscles".    

Worsfold gave character evidence, saying Masten was "a very fair player" and it was not in his nature to fight or wrestle opponents.

As he left the Tribunal in Perth, Masten said: "I got a really fair hearing, just unhappy with the decision obviously. We’ll get on with it in a couple of weeks." 

Meanwhile, Docker defender Silvagni - whose case was referred directly to the Tribunal by the Match Review Panel on Monday - pleaded guilty as charged, with his strike graded as high impact and high contact. 

The penalty, which was one week less than the AFL legal counsel recommended, means he would be available for Fremantle after the first week of finals. 

It is likely Silvagni received a one-match discount for his guilty plea. His legal counsel, Nick Tweedie SC, also used a character reference from Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich. 

Tweedie asked the jury of Shane Wakelin, Wayne Henwood and Wayne Schimmelbusch to consider Silvagni was not a player who would walk straight back into the Dockers' team if handed a lengthy ban. 

In his evidence, Silvagni said Cripps had moved into his path to stop him pursuing his opponent, and he had responded by attempting to "move him out of the way" with a "strong, forceful" bump. 

"I didn't mean to strike him in the head," a contrite Silvagni said. 

"It didn't sit with me well at the time, during the game or still now. As a footballer I don't like seeing it and I didn't mean to do it." 

Silvagni said he tried to explain his actions to West Coast forward Josh Kennedy on the ground and followed up post-match to check on Cripps's condition.  

AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson recommended a penalty of six matches, reduced by one match because of Silvagni's guilty plea.  

"I just want to publicly apologise to Jamie for the incident on the weekend. It's not something I stand for,” Silvagni said after the decision was handed down. 

"I still feel a little ill from it from the weekend. It's definitely not something in my character. I'm deeply remorseful for the incident."