Port, Harvey in clear, Lewis suspended - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port, Harvey in clear, Lewis suspended

By Adam Cooper & Daniel Brettig 07/04/2008 08:36:19 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide's rough house tactics on Adelaide were given the all-clear by the AFL match review panel, with the Power declaring they did not go over the top in Sunday night's brutal Showdown game.

Not one Port player was cited after an exhaustive review of round three games, which included the Power's Matt Thomas having his report of rough conduct against Crow Nathan Bassett thrown out.

There was also relief for St Kilda's Robert Harvey, who was cleared of any wrongdoing after the Western Bulldogs' Jason Akermanis claimed the Saints champ had grabbed his opponent on the testicles during last Friday night's game at Telstra Dome.

But Hawthorn are again counting the costs of a game against North Melbourne, as midfielder Jordan Lewis faces a one-game suspension for striking Kangaroo Daniel Pratt in the midriff at the Dome last Saturday.

Lewis was suspended for two games after last year's semi-final for striking North's Brent Harvey, which prevented him playing in the first two games this season, but now faces another ban despite him being best-afield on the weekend.

Lewis' strike was viewed as intentional, of low impact and to the body, which drew five activation points, and 125 demerit points - enough normally to get a player off with an early guilty plea.

But Lewis' bad record, dating back to last year's offence, came back to hurt him and took his total to 163.75, which means an early plea would only reduce his tally to 122.81 and insufficient to get him off the charge.

The Hawks, who play Adelaide in Launceston on Sunday, will announce Tuesday whether they contest the charge.

Richmond's Kayne Pettifer is the only other player likely to be suspended this week, after he was offered a one-match suspension for striking Collingwood's Nick Maxwell at the MCG on Sunday.

Pettifer's strike was assessed as reckless, of low impact and high, but his poor record also inflated his demerit point tally, which means he cannot escape a suspension even with a guilty plea.

The Tigers will also announce their plans on Tuesday.

Hawk Michael Osborne and Essendon's Adam Ramanauskas and Mark McVeigh have all been offered reprimands for minor striking reports.

Port breathed a huge sigh of relief after what could have been a raft of charges amounted to nothing, and left last year's grand finalist in better stead as they chase their first win of the season, against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night.

Apart from Thomas, Port's Dean Brogan was ruled in the clear despite laying a heavy bump on Crow Luke Jericho, while Michael Pettigrew had no case to answer after crashing into Scott Thompson.

Thomas was reported for pinning Bassett's arms as he lay in a tackle and slid him into the turf, which resulted in the Crow being carried off the ground.

But the match review panel ruled the momentum of both players forced Bassett's head forward, and that Thomas' tackle was a single motion, and not a secondary sling or ramming action.

"It was considered to be different from the examples highlighted to clubs in the 2007 tribunal DVD, which was seen as two different motions within the tackle," the panel said in a statement.

"Therefore, the action was considered not unreasonable in the circumstances and therefore not reportable."

The panel ruled Brogan and Pettigrew had eyes for the ball, and that their contact was also "not unreasonable".

Bassett and Jericho remain in doubt to play the Hawks.

Port's Chad Cornes admitted Bassett's injury looked bad, but said his teammate did not intentionally cause harm.

"It's not great to see, we went through it last year with Kane (Cornes) when (Melbourne's) Byron (Pickett) got him and it looked really ugly, but Matty didn't mean to hurt him in any way, I don't think it's a reportable offence," he told radio station FiveAA.

"If it was the other way round I'm sure the Crows fans would see no problems with it."

Power defender Troy Chaplin agreed Thomas' tackle was fair, and denied Port were overly aggressive.

"No, we didn't go over the top, definitely not," he said.

"That's football and when you've got two guys with a fierce attack on the footy someone is going to come off second best and it was just unfortunate it was them (Adelaide).

Akermanis claimed during the game and then last Saturday night that Harvey had grabbed him on the testicles as he lay a tackle, which prompted an investigation.

But the panel deemed there was no strike or grabbing motion, although there was "accidental contact as Harvey pushed away to regain his feet".

St Kilda declined to comment.

The panel also reviewed a string of contentious incidents including two involving West Coast star Daniel Kerr and one involving Collingwood's Dane Swan, but took no action.

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