Eighteen to face 27 brawl charges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eighteen to face 27 brawl charges

By Guy Hand 08/06/2004 09:04:17 PM Comments (0)

Record fines and hefty suspensions look certain at the AFL tribunal Wednesday night after 18 players were cited on 27 charges arising from the Hawthorn-Essendon brawl at the weekend.

The AFL closed its investigation book and threw it at both clubs, announcing another 22 charges to go with the five already laid from the bloody punch-up at the MCG on Saturday.

And Hawthorn has clearly been painted as the aggressor, with all but one of the most serious charges levelled at the Hawks.

Onballer Richard Vandenburg (striking and misconduct), defender Simon Beaumont (striking and misconduct) and Lance Picioane, Campbell Brown and John Barker (all striking) have most to fear.

Essendon's Justin Murphy is the only Bomber on a count which carries a suspension, charged with misconduct for an alleged head-butt on Beaumont.

The 12 other players - Hawks Peter Everitt, Nick Holland, Chance Bateman and Mark Williams and Bombers Damien Peverill, Dean Solomon, Mark Johnson, Adam McPhee, Jason Johnson, Andrew Welsh, Dean Rioli and Mark McVeigh - will only answer melee charges which usually carry fines.

Vandenburg, Beaumont, Picioane, Brown, Barker and Murphy also face charges of engaging in a melee.

The current record for melee fines at the tribunal is the $67,500 dished out to the 18 Western Bulldogs and St Kilda players involved in a dust-up at Telstra Dome last year.

That figure should be blown out of the water Wednesday night, with several repeat offenders - who receive heftier fines than first-timers - among those to front the tribunal.

AFL investigations officer Rick Lewis laid the raft of new charges after three days of reviewing video evidence and interviewing at least seven players involved in the wild brawl which erupted in the third quarter.

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