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Fyfe to challenge, Tiger fined for staging

Why Fyfe might have fluffed Brownlow Matt Thompson and Michael Christian reveal the round 11 Match Review findings
Nat Fyfe hits Levi Greenwood with a high arm - AFL,Tribunal,Nat Fyfe,Brownlow
Nat Fyfe hits Levi Greenwood with a high arm

FREMANTLE captain Nat Fyfe will head to the Tribunal on Tuesday night in a bid to keep his Brownlow Medal hopes alive after the Match Review Officer hit him with a one-match suspension for striking.

Richmond star Alex Rance was also offered a $1000 fine for staging and emerging North Melbourne midfielder Jy Simpkin a two-match suspension for rough conduct when MRO Michael Christian released his findings from round 11.

Fyfe is one of the favourites for this year's Brownlow after a scintillating first half of the season, but the midfielder won't add to his 2015 medal win this year if his one-match suspension stands.

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Fyfe was charged after he collided with Collingwood defender Levi Greenwood midway through the third quarter at the MCG on Sunday.

The Freo skipper made contact with Greenwood just after the Magpie tapped the ball to teammate Matthew Scharenberg. As he did so, he extended his left arm away from his body and appeared to catch Greenwood high with his forearm.

The Magpie got up immediately after the collision and played the remainder of the game without any apparent injury.

ALL THE CHARGES Full statement from round 11

Christian graded Fyfe's action as intentional, low impact and high contact, and later told reporters the fact the midfielder had raised his elbow had been a key factor in the decision.

"A raised forearm or elbow is usually conclusive that it is intentional," Christian said.

"The circumstances around this (are) the ball goes over Nat's head, he runs at Greenwood and jumps off the ground and raises his forearm and makes forceful contact to Levi's head.

"The ball was in the grasp of Greenwood, he decided to tap it on as Nat was approaching, but (we) believed the action of jumping and raising the forearm into Levi's head was of an intentional nature."

The club confirmed it will challenge the ban where they will most likely argue Fyfe's action was careless, a grading that would reduce his penalty to a fine and keep him in the running for the Brownlow Meda.

Rance's staging fine follows an incident during the third quarter of Saturday night's Dreamtime at the G game, when he dived forward in an exaggerated fashion after receiving a light push in the back from Essendon forward Shaun McKernan.

The Richmond defender is the second player to be charged with staging in round 11 after Sydney ruckman Callum Sinclair was fined $1000 for falling to the ground after being pushed lightly by Carlton midfielder Patrick Cripps.

Rance was lucky to escape a staging charge last year when he fell over after a relatively gentle push from Swans star Lance Franklin.

But Christian said he had not taken into account the Tigers' reputation for staging for free kicks when assessing his dive on Saturday night.

"In this particular case, there was only minimal contact by McKernan and Alex excessively exaggerated that contact. He was paid a free kick and (we) believed that it did fit into the provisions of staging," the MRO said.

Simpkin was suspended following a collision that concussed Brisbane Lions midfielder Allen Christensen during the first quarter of Sunday's game at Etihad Stadium.

Simpkin appeared to have his hands out in an effort to contest the ball up until the last second, but his shoulder collected Christensen in the head and the Lion took no further part in the game.

The MRO graded Simpkin's action as careless, high impact and high contact. If he elects not to challenge his ban, he will miss North's upcoming games against Geelong and the Western Bulldogs.

"In this particular case while initially he had his hands out it was clear - and I know it's a tough game and it's split-second stuff - but Christensen had possession of the ball and Jy had enough time to turn and elect to bump," Christian said.

"Forceful high contact was made with his shoulder to Christensen's head and as a consequence we graded the conduct as careless."

Three players were charged with reckless umpire contact on the weekend, with Port Adelaide's Tom Rockliff and Gold Coast's Touk Miller each offered $1000 fines, and Fremantle's Darcy Tucker offered a $1500 sanction given it was his second such charge. 

Shaun Burgoyne was one of five other players issued with fines, the Hawks veteran charged with rough conduct and fined $2000 for his tackle on Port Adelaide's Jared Polec during Saturday's game in Launceston. 

 

The other players fined were:

Port Adelaide's Sam Powell-Pepper ($2000) for striking Hawk Jaeger O'Meara.

Gold Coast's David Swallow ($2000) for tripping Geelong's Gary Ablett.

Brisbane's Mitch Robinson ($2000) for rough conduct against North Melbourne's Shaun Higgins.

North's Scott Thompson ($3000) for striking Lion Dayne Zorko.