Richmond gains from Bulldogs' loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richmond gains from Bulldogs' loss

By Guy Hand 11/05/2004 11:03:50 PM Comments (0)

Richmond was the big winner in the night of the long knives at the AFL Tribunal, with weekend opponents Western Bulldogs robbed of their natural match-up for in-form spearhead Matthew Richardson.

In the three-and-a-half hour suspension and fine spree, Bulldogs defender Brian Harris was one of three players banned - given two matches for engaging in rough play against Essendon's Scott Lucas.

That leaves the Bulldogs with few answers to combat Richardson in their clash at the MCG on Saturday after he dined out with a seven-goal feast against Sydney in the Tigers' victory at the SCG last weekend.

Harris was likely to stand Richardson after performing creditably at full-back in the Bulldogs' recent games.

The young defender pleaded not guilty to sinking his knee into Lucas's head during last weekend's loss to the Bombers.

Harris admitted his knee made "slight contact" with the Essendon player, but said it was accidental and unavoidable.

"As soon as I realised I was going to make contact, I tried to transfer my weight to the other side to avoid it," Harris said.

"He wasn't hurt from it. I thought I did very well at the pace I was going at not to make any more contact."

But Tribunal chairman Brian Collis said the contact was forceful.

"The manner of the contact gives cause to concern," he said.

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