Hawks blitzed at AFL tribunal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks blitzed at AFL tribunal

09/06/2004 10:32:18 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn has been reduced to just 27 senior players available for selection this week after the AFL handed out 16 weeks of suspension and a record $70,700 in fines for the wild brawl with Essendon last weekend.

In a hearing that lasted over five hours, Essendon pointed the finger of blame at Hawthorn for instigating the third-quarter brawl that yielded 27 reports.

With eight Hawthorn players unavailable for Friday night's match against Carlton because of injury, the Hawks were further reduced by tonight's suspensions: Richie Vandenberg for six weeks, Lance Picioane and Campbell Brown for four weeks each and Simon Beaumont for one game.

Essendon's Justin Murphy was the only Bomber suspended, receiving a one-week ban.

The amount of fines for melee and wrestling was a record, topping the amount levied for the St Kilda-Western Bulldogs clash last year.

Hawthorn will wait until Thursday to decide on any appeals.

The Hawks were also keeping their own counsel on Essendon's submission that Hawthorn must bear responsibility for the brawl.

But club officials looked angered when the Bombers' advocate said: "the degrees of culpability are quite different between the Hawthorn Football Club and the Essendon Football Club".

Vandenberg received three weeks for striking Essendon's Adam McPhee and three weeks after pleading guilty to making unnecessary and unreasonable contact with his leg to the same player, while Picioane's four weeks came for striking McPhee.

Vandenberg's charges, and that of Picioane, arose from an investigation launched due to inconclusive video and photographic evidence which suggested Vandenberg pumped his fist several times into McPhee, while Picioane landed a clenched fist to the face.

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