North Melbourne great Brent Harvey has been referred straight to the AFL tribunal for misconduct. Teammate Daniel Wells and Freo’s Nat Fyfe also face bans.
North Melbourne’s Brent Harvey could be facing several weeks on the sidelines after pinning Liam Picken to the ground with a forearm to the throat.
Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe has been offered a two-match ban by the AFL’s match-review panel, while Harvey’s teammate Daniel Wells can accept a one-game suspension.
Harvey’s charge of misconduct resulting from a second-quarter incident in Sunday’s win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium has been referred directly to a tribunal hearing on Tuesday night.
Harvey hasn’t been given the option of submitting an early plea of guilty for his clash with Bulldogs’ tagger Picken.
Footage of the incident on the AFL’s website shows Harvey throwing Picken over his shoulder onto the turf and then holding his opponent down by applying force to the throat area.
“Why didn’t they actually just go with rough conduct and give him a week,” 1988 Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy asked on Fox Footy.
Hawthorn icon Jason Dunstall, speaking on the same program, also downplayed the incident.
“I don’t think Liam Picken was too distressed about it,” Dunstall said.
A similar clash in round 16 involving Hawthorn’s Brian Lake attacking the throat of North’s Drew Petrie led to a four-match ban for Lake, although Lake’s choke-hold tactic appeared to go on for a longer period than Harvey’s incident.
Harvey served a six-game suspension at the start of the 2013 season. The 382-game veteran currently has a 40 per cent loading.
Wells, in his first senior game since round five after overcoming a foot injury, has been hit with a level-one charge of striking the Bulldogs’ Shaun Higgins.
The midfielder can accept a reprimand and 70.31 points towards his future record with an early plea following the third-quarter clash.
Wells has also been charged with a level-two offence of rough conduct against Higgins during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.
He can accept a penalty of 126.56 points and a one-match ban.
North Melbourne, who are a game clear in sixth spot, play Adelaide (eighth) and Melbourne (17th) in the last two rounds.
Wells would narrowly avoid a two-match ban if he lodged early pleas of guilty on both charges.
Fyfe has been charged with a level-three striking offence for his hit on Hawthorn’s Jordan Lewis during the first quarter of Sunday’s game in Perth.
Controversially suspended earlier this year for an offence some commentators felt shouldn’t have put him out of contention for the Brownlow Medal, the star onballer’s ban stays at two games whether he fights the ban and loses or takes the early guilty plea.
If he pleads guilty Fyfe would receive a penalty of 207.19 points and a two-match suspension.
Fourth-placed Fremantle face Brisbane and Port Adelaide in the next fortnight.
Western Bulldogs’ Jordan Roughead and Mark Austin and North’s Lindsay Thomas and Aaron Black have been offered fines for engaging in melees.
Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley and Geelong’s Mathew Stokes can accept $900 fines for making negligent contact with an umpire.