DEFENDER Ben Long will miss St Kilda's next three matches as consequence for his bump on Fremantle's Sean Darcy that left the ruckman concussed and with lingering neck pain.


The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to his rough conduct charge and agreed to a three-week penalty – via his representative Jack Rush – with the AFL's legal counsel Jeff Gleeson prior to Tuesday night's hearing. 

Ben Long gestures down the field during St Kilda's clash against Fremantle in round six. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The Tribunal upheld those recommendations after a brief deliberation.

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The Saints play Adelaide on Monday night then Port Adelaide in round eight, both at Adelaide Oval, and are yet to find out their following opponent.

The Dockers' medical report stated Darcy sustained a concussion from the incident and has mild neck pain, while it is unclear when he will return to training and playing.


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Match Review Officer Michael Christian originally classified Long's bump as careless conduct, severe impact and high conduct, which resulted in a direct referral to the Tribunal.

The minimum ban for that set of classifications is three matches.

Gleeson pointed out that if the jury members were to give Long less than a three-match sanction that they would be going against the grading table of offences. 

Long's representative, Rush, did not argue any of the classifications but introduced vision of a separate bump the Saint initiated later in the same game that did not result in any injury. 

Gleeson said this illustrated Long had no "malice" in his actions and instead he possibly had "a problem with his technique". 

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He also requested for the jury members to consider it was a split-second decision and while he did go past the ball, it was still at his feet. 

Rush suggested Long's bump was at the "lower end" of careless conduct and highlighted that Darcy suffered no broken bones or lacerations as a result of it.