Harvey out 6 matches
Eagles Jack Darling and Adam Selwood remonstrate with Brent Harvey during the elimination final. Photo: Getty Images
NORTH Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey's typical vibrance evaporated last night as his tribunal challenge to two striking charges backfired severely.
The 34-year-old will not be able to start next season, his 18th, until round seven after the tribunal upheld both charges arising from the Kangaroos' loss to West Coast last Sunday. Had he accepted the match review panel charges he would have missed only four games.
''Six weeks of football at any stage of your career is absolutely devastating,'' Harvey said. ''I'm absolutely shattered I will be missing six games of football for our football club.''
Harvey received a total of 643.75 demerit points, six matches plus carry-over points, for striking Eagles pair Daniel Kerr and Adam Selwood. The total ban ordinarily would have been five matches, but Harvey was also saddled with 93.75 carry-over points.
In the Kerr case, where the Eagles midfielder was struck slightly off the ball in the centre square as Harvey ran past him, the veteran attempted to plead guilty only to reckless conduct instead of the intentional classification imposed by the match review panel. Had the tribunal jury agreed, he would have faced only a two-match ban, including the carry-over points. He was nevertheless unsuccessful, resulting in a four-match ban.
The second incident was not as conclusive as there was virtually no useful video footage. Defence counsel Will Houghton, QC, attempted to use that fact to have the charge thrown out but was overruled by tribunal chairman David Jones.
Selwood, who was not present, was interviewed over the incident in which he left the field with cuts to his forehead and nose that required stitches - immediately after grappling one-on-one with Harvey. Selwood told tribunal counsel Jeff Gleeson, SC, the cuts were caused by forceful contact but was unsure what had happened, but stated he had not been headbutted.
Harvey gave evidence that he had not struck Selwood and had ''no idea'' how the Eagles players received the cuts, despite no one else being in the vicinity.
After Houghton criticised the tribunal's evidence as ''flimsy'', the jury deliberated for 16 minutes before confirming Harvey's suspension.