Nat Fyfe will appeal his one-match ban. Picture: AAP Images
Nat Fyfe will appeal his one-match ban. Picture: AAP Images

Dockers launch Brownlow rescue mission

FREMANTLE will challenge Nat Fyfe's one-match ban to save the superstar midfielder's Brownlow Medal hopes.

The AFL on Monday dealt the brilliant Docker and Brownlow favourite a one-match ban for striking Magpie Levi Greenwood with a raised forearm on Sunday.

The contentious suspension meant Hawthorn ball magnet Tom Mitchell was installed new Medal favourite ($2.75) ahead of dominant Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn ($5) with TAB.

But the Dockers informed the AFL they would formally challenge the ruling at the tribunal, believing Fyfe's act should be downgraded from intentional to careless.

Fremantle issued the statement confirming it "has decided to challenge the ban and risk the $10,000 fee if it is upheld".

Fyfe jumped as he struck Greenwood with a forearm to the head in the Magpies' 61-point win at the MCG.

But the hard nut Collingwood midfielder was not seriously injured in the incident and was able to play the rest of the game.

A downgrade from intentional to careless at the tribunal would result in a fine and keep alive Fyfe's hopes of winning a second Brownlow Medal.

Nat Fyfe collects Levi Greenwood with this bump. Picture: Getty Images
Nat Fyfe collects Levi Greenwood with this bump. Picture: Getty Images

Match review officer Michael Christian said Fyfe's hit was graded as intentional because he raised his elbow in a direct manner.

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

"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.

 

"Weighing up all the guidelines and rules around intentionality versus careless, based on that overriding principle that a raised forearm is usually conclusive … intentional was how we graded it."

The youthful Dockers take on Adelaide in Perth on Sunday.

Richmond defender Alex Rance was also fined $1000 for staging after accentuating a push he received from Bombers' big man Shaun McKernan in a marking contest on Saturday night.

The act has also divided opinion with AFL champion Wayne Carey saying Rance should cut out these sorts of dives to protect his reputation in the game.

Hawk Shaun Burgoyne was also fined for his rough tackle on Port's Jared Polec, while North youngster Jy Simpkin received a two-match suspension for a high bump on Lion Allen Christensen.

Alex Rance was fines $1000 for staging. Picture: AAP Images
Alex Rance was fines $1000 for staging. Picture: AAP Images

Christian said he graded the incident as low impact because Greenwood was able to play on after the hit.

He said Fyfe's superstar status and Brownlow standing was not taken into account.

"(I'm) just trying to assess each incident on its merits, forgetting about the names and the players involved and make an assessment as best we can about each particular incident and grade it as best as we possibly can," he said.

Christian said Rance overdid it in the McKernan incident on Saturday night, but did not take into account Rance's previous history of similar actions.

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"In this particular case, there was only minimal contact by McKernan and Alex excessively exaggerated that contact," Christian said.

"He was paid a free kick and (we) believed that it did fit into the provisions of staging."

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