Sport AFL Three-game ban for Harvey, two for Fyfe

Three-game ban for Harvey, two for Fyfe

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North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey has been given a three-match suspension for throwing Liam Picken to the ground and pinning him with a forearm to the throat.

Harvey’s misconduct charge was referred directly to the AFL tribunal and the three-man panel retired for five minutes on Tuesday night before finding Harvey guilty.

Fremantle star Nat Fyfe, charged with striking Hawthorn’s Jordan Lewis, then had his two-game ban upheld by the tribunal.

Fyfe’s representative Nick Tweedie SC unsuccessfully challenged the classification of the blow, noting Fyfe intended to strike Lewis in the chest.

Fyfe’s original punishment of 276.25 demerit points stands and he will miss matches against Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide.

An early plea could have reduced Fyfe’s sanction to 207.19 points.

Harvey is set to miss games against Adelaide and Melbourne, as well as week one of the finals, should the Kangaroos qualify as expected.

North are considering an appeal.

“It is what it is. A range of options and we’ll assess all that in the morning,” Kangaroos director of football Geoff Walsh said.

Harvey’s advocate Justin Hannebery broke the incident down to two phases, pleading guilty to the initial hip-toss but arguing the 36-year-old attempted to then stand up when the Western Bulldogs tagger held him down.

“I don’t think I had any other option,” Harvey testified.

“He made contact with me and grabbed me with both hands.

“I tried to get up and get some leverage to push up … he was pulling me down with force,” he added, likening it to a “tug of war”.

“Not at one stage did I want to hurt him .. or cause him pain.”

The Bulldogs’ medical report confirmed Picken was not injured.

But jury members Wayne Henwood, David Neitz and David Pittman dismissed the suggestion Harvey’s forearm to the throat was an involuntary act, finding him guilty of misconduct in both incidents.

AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson QC suggested four weeks was an appropriate ban given Harvey showed a “degree of contrition” in pleading guilty, but his existing bad record was more paramount.

The 382-game veteran served a six-game suspension at the start of the 2013 season, burdening him with a 40 per cent loading.

Hannebery proposed three weeks was “far too close to the more serious aspects of misconduct and would be over the top”.

The jury retired for a second time and again disagreed, imposing a penalty of 341 demerit points.

Earlier on Tuesday, Harvey’s teammate Daniel Wells accepted a combined one-match ban for striking and rough-conduct charges at the weekend.

Wells was also slugged with 96.85 carry-over points.

Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley, Geelong’s Mathew Stoke, Western Bulldogs Jordan Roughead and Mark Austin, and North’s Lindsay Thomas and Aaron Black accepted fines for minor incidents.