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They're free: Superstars cleared of high hits, young Roo banned

In the clear: MRO explains why Nat and Gaz are free to play Riley Beveridge and MRO Michael Christian wrap up the round eight Match Review findings

THE GAME'S superstars are breathing a sigh of relief this week, with Gary Ablett and Nat Fyfe walking away from the Match Review process unscathed.

However, North Melbourne defender Sam Durdin has been offered a one-match ban following a bump that left Geelong forward Gary Rohan with concussion.

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Ablett and Fyfe both appeared to be in danger of facing suspensions, having each caught opponents with raised elbows in their respective games over the weekend.

In a near mirror-image of last week's incident that saw Ablett in hot water, the Cats champion left the ground and lunged forward with his forearm as he collected North Melbourne veteran Sam Wright.

Ablett was handed a one-match ban for a similar action to the head of Dylan Shiel last week, before successfully appealing that suspension at the AFL Tribunal.

He was able to argue that he was attempting to spin away from colliding with Shiel, with his perfect Match Review record from his 329-game career helping his cause last Tuesday night.

This week, he will have no case to answer after Match Review Officer Michael Christian deemed the incident not worthy of any punishment whatsoever.

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Coach Chris Scott told AFL 360 Ablett's actions were everyday defensive actions which were poorly executed.

"It's been in the game for a long time now – and coached by virtually every club in the competition, if not all of them – that when a player gives off a handball, you should try to stop him," Scott said.

"You used to try and stop him by turning a shoulder and bumping him, but then there was a risk any shoulder contact with a bump would leave you in serious trouble. You can't tackle him, you can't bump him, because that's a 50-metre penalty, so the technique is to 'bumper bar' him.

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"That's the technique that most clubs use. By definition, you are actually raising your forearm, and what you're trying to do is stop him by hitting him in the chest.

"Where Gary's got it wrong is he's jumped off the ground and raised his arm too high and made contact above the shoulder. I think he's been vindicated twice now that it wasn't an intentional act worthy of a suspension, but he's running the risk that if his timing is a little bit out, or he flushes someone on the chin, then he's going to be in serious trouble."

Fyfe was also investigated for a glancing elbow to the head of Tom Lynch.

However, despite raising his arm in the action of colliding with the Richmond forward, Christian chose not penalise Fyfe after Lynch returned to the game immediately.

Durdin was not so lucky and will potentially miss North Melbourne's game with Sydney.

The Kangaroos defender went to block Rohan as he attempted to tackle, but the two clashed heads in an incident that concussed the Cats forward.

The incident was graded by Christian as careless conduct with medium impact to the head, equating to a one-match ban.

West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern and Melbourne midfielder Jack Viney also escaped suspensions, having endured a nervous wait after respective incidents over the weekend.

McGovern turned to bump Blake Acres in an off-the-ball incident that left the Saint winded, but the incident was only graded as low impact resulting in a $2000 fine.

Viney collected Lachie Weller with a stray hand to the face, though had turned his body prior to making contact with the Suns player and wasn't penalised by Christian.

In other incidents assessed over the weekend, Hawthorn defender James Frawley was fined $2000 for shoving Jeremy Cameron into a fence, while Carlton youngster Sam Walsh was hit with a $1000 fine for making careless contact with an umpire.

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