Bombers may challenge Hocking's ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers may challenge Hocking's ban

By Roger Vaughan 16/05/2011 08:18:50 PM Comments (0)

Essendon might take Heath Hocking's striking charge to the AFL tribunal and try to reduce his penalty to two matches.

But the Bombers must decide whether the tactic is worthwhile, given Hocking will receive a guaranteed four-game suspension if the bid fails.

As expected, the match review panel took a dim view of Hocking's elbow to the head of Brisbane opponent James Polkinghorne last Saturday night at the `Gabba.

They judged it a level-five offence and handed him a four-match penalty, which Essendon can reduce to three games with an early plea.

Essendon will decide on Tuesday morning whether to go to the tribunal in the risky bid to halve the initial penalty.

"The reality is we accept it's high contact, we accept it's high impact," said Bombers football manager Paul Hamilton.

"So I don't think there will be a lot of arguments on those grounds.

"What we have to determine is whether we can fight that it was intentional, as opposed to reckless or negligent."

If the Bombers can successfully argue that the blow was not intentional, then Hocking could escape with only a two-match ban.

The match review panel had a busy on Monday, with Hocking's penalty among three suspensions, three fines and a reprimand.

Steven Baker's poor disciplinary record means the St Kilda defender faces a two-game suspension for striking Hawthorn forward Michael Osborne, regardless of whether he accepts the penalty.

The suspension adds to St Kilda's woes as they deal with a disastrous start to the season.

Last year, Baker received a total punishment of nine games from four charges, following his running duel with Geelong opponent Steve Johnson.

A week after Jack Trengove's controversial three-match ban was upheld on appeal, Melbourne team-mate Lynden Dunn now faces a two-match suspension with an early plea.

He was charged with rough conduct against North Melbourne defender Daniel Pratt and Dunn will risk a three-match ban if he goes to the tribunal.

St Kilda onballer David Armitage was handed a reprimand for striking Hawks utility Grant Birchall.

Richmond small forward Jake King was fined $1600 for misconduct after he made contact with a Western Bulldogs trainer, with the penalty reduced to $1200 if he accepts it.

Brisbane's Sam Sheldon and Richmond onballer Robin Nahas can take $900 fines for negligent umpire contact.

A match-day report against Bulldogs ruckman Ben Hudson for rough conduct against opponent Angus Graham will not go ahead.

Geelong defender David Wojcinski also was not charged after his leg made contact with Collingwood forward Alan Didak.

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