Suspended Franklin rues his height - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suspended Franklin rues his height

13/04/2010 07:58:07 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn will be without suspended star Lance Franklin for Saturday night's crunch AFL game against Collingwood after his height counted against him at the tribunal on Tuesday night.

Franklin failed in his bid to beat a one-game ban for engaging in rough conduct against the Western Bulldogs' Jason Akermanis, in which he made high contact in a bump at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Franklin argued he could not prevent making contact after Akermanis fired off a quick handball.

The Hawks argued Franklin stopped when he realised he could not tackle the Brownlow medallist in time and turned his body to brace for contact.

Franklin argued the 19cm gap in height between the pair meant he could not prevent high contact on Akermanis, who was left dazed but not concussed.

"He's 177cm and I'm tall (196cm) and if he was a taller guy it would be shoulder contact," Franklin said.

"I couldn't have done anything else. I pushed in trying to get the ball, realised I couldn't have, so I've stopped."

The video footage showed Franklin putting the brakes on, but his last stride took him into Akermanis, who was bumped from the other side by Hawthorn's Rick Ladson.

After his hearing Franklin said he felt unlucky and would not have done anything differently.

"No, definitely not. I didn't think there was too much in it," he said.

"I found out after the game that I might be up but I'm very surprised that I was.

"I'm very disappointed I'm not going to be out there this weekend with the boys, but it's only a week and I'll be back against North Melbourne."

Franklin did not have the option of pleading guilty and avoiding suspension because of carry-over points from last year, when he was suspended for two games for a high bump on Richmond's Ben Cousins.

Hawthorn football operations manager Mark Evans said on Tuesday night was a case of deja vu, but felt Franklin had a strong case.

"In a bumping situation it's difficult when you've got a tall guy and a short guy, but we always have to come back to whether we think the player acted reasonably and we thought Lance did," Evans said.

AFL legal counsel Andrew Tinney SC reminded the jury Franklin made high contact, which is outlawed.

"If you a bump someone in that situation and you come into contact with a person's head it can sensibly be argued you have not abided by the duty of care," he said.

North's Andrew Swallow was also unsuccessful in fighting a charge of making contact with an umpire and was fined $2400.

Earlier on Tuesday, Brisbane Lions pair Ashley McGrath and Mitch Clark were both suspended for one game, which rules them out of Saturday night's clash against the Bulldogs at the Gabba.

Clark pleaded guilty to striking Port Adelaide's Jackson Trengove and McGrath did the same for making unnecessary contact to the face of Port's Cameron Cloke.

Richmond's Dustin Martin was reprimanded for front-on contact on Sydney's Josh Kennedy.

Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne was fined $900 for pinching Geelong's Gary Ablett, Hawk Chance Bateman was docked $1800 for wrestling Bulldog Shaun Higgins and Sydney's Kieran Jack was penalised $900 for making contact with an umpire.

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