Wellingham quick to accept three-match ban for controversial bump
Collingwood's Sharrod Wellingham has accepted a minimum three-match suspension by the AFL's match review panel over his controversial hit on Carlton's Kade Simpson in last Friday night's game at the MCG.
Wellingham, who broke Simpson's jaw in the collision in a marking contest, was given a five-match suspension that was reduced to three weeks by the Magpie pleading guilty. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley had already acknowledged that Wellingham would be suspended for his "clumsy" hit on the Blue.
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Wellingham's record - he had not been suspended in the previous five years - helped his cause. While the MRP considered his conduct "reckless" and the impact "severe" for a 550-point or five-match sanction, the record reduces his penalty by 25 per cent.
Geelong, which confronts Collingwood on Friday night, has lost midfield champion Jimmy Bartel for a fortnight over his off-the-ball strike on Gold Coast’s Trent McKenzie on Sunday.
Bartel was given a three-match suspension, reduced to two on a guilty plea, by the MRP after video showed him knocking McKenzie to the ground during the second quarter.
Essendon’s Heath Hocking also faces a two-match absence for an off-the-ball bump on St Kilda’s Lenny Hayes last Saturday night. In both the Hocking and Bartel cases, the conduct was deemed to be ‘‘intentional’’ because it happened behind play. Hocking could not reduce the two-match suspension because he has prior convictions.
The MRP handed out several suspensions, including West Coast’s ruck-forward Quenten Lynch (one match for tripping), and fellow Eagle Luke Shuey (two matches for striking).
Richmond’s utility Matt White copped a three-match suspension for a high bump on Melbourne’s James Frawley, and Demon Lynden Dunn was outed for one match for striking. Frawley also can accept a reprimand and carry-over points for striking.
Greater Western Sydney’s gun forward Jeremy Cameron has been offered a reprimand for striking Clinton Young of Hawthorn, but is ineligible for the Rising Star award because he accrued more than 100 points.
Collingwood’s Jackson Paine also has been offered a reprimand on a guilty plea for tripping Carlton’s Mitch Robinson.