Fletcher, Franklin cop one-match bans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fletcher, Franklin cop one-match bans

By Sam Lienert 01/06/2010 07:02:38 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn star forward Lance Franklin has also been sidelined for one game - his third ban from eight matches - after he pleaded guilty to making forceful front-on contact to the Swans' Martin Mattner.

Franklin would have risked a two-match penalty had he fought the charge, whereas Fletcher, a frequent tribunal visitor, would have still missed one game even with an early guilty plea.

But the Bombers were disappointed they failed to have the charge of tripping Western Bulldog forward Barry Hall downgraded from intentional to negligent, which would have reduced the penalty to a reprimand.

Fletcher lunged at Hall from behind as the forward was running towards goal.

While Hall tripped and fell, video played to the tribunal showed Fletcher initially made contact with his hand to the Bulldog's knee, which is allowable, before touching his foot as the forward was stumbling.

Fletcher told the jury his only intention had been to lay a legitimate tackle.

"I thought I was close enough to lunge and tackle to prevent a goal, being pretty desperate in the last line of defence, and that's what I did," he said.

"The knee and above is lawful contact, I believe, and that's what I tried to do." But the jury was not swayed, upholding the 35-year-old's one-match ban.

"We thought we had a reasonable case, we were quite confident actually going in there, but unfortunately that's not what the tribunal decided and we have to live with that," Bombers football manager Paul Hamilton said, ruling out an appeal.

Franklin will miss Sunday's MCG meeting with Port Adelaide, his third recent suspension over a head-high bump.

He was banned for two games after knocking Richmond's Ben Cousins unconscious in round 21 last season, a penalty which carried over into round one this year.

The tribunal also upheld a suspension for high contact on Western Bulldogs veteran Jason Akermanis in round three, costing him one match.

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