Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom is facing a three-match AFL ban for knocking out Maverick Weller, while Adam Goodes and Heath Hocking were cleared.
A disappointed and embarrassed Steele Sidebottom is set to accept a three-match AFL ban for his head-high bump on Maverick Weller.
At the opening bounce of Friday night’s clash, Collingwood midfielder Sidebottom surged off the wing and leapt high – clipping Weller’s head with his elbow.
Weller staggered from the field and didn’t return after a concussion test, no doubt shaping the match review panel’s verdict on Monday.
The incident was assessed as reckless conduct and high impact, with Sidebottom risking a four-week suspension if he takes the rough-conduct case to the tribunal on Tuesday.
A remorseful Sidebottom, speaking to the Seven Network before his jarring bump was graded, indicated he would “cop whatever comes”.
“It happened so fast and I obviously haven’t done anything like this before. I’m pretty disappointed it’s happened,” Sidebottom said.
“I’m obviously pretty embarrassed by what’s happened, because I don’t like to be seen like that.”
It is the most severe punishment handed down by the panel since Hawthorn’s Brian Lake was given a three-match ban for striking Michael Walters in last year’s grand final.
Sidebottom revealed he apologised to Weller after the Magpies’ 86-point win over St Kilda.
“It shook me up a bit. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t on my mind (during the game),” he said.
Sidebottom is set to miss matches against Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn.
Sydney icon Adam Goodes and Essendon’s Heath Hocking were both cleared over head-high hits on Geelong captain Joel Selwood and Richmond youngster Ben Lennon respectively.
The panel ruled Goodes jumped in an “attempt to contest the ball” and braced for contact rather than bumping Selwood in the Swans’ 110-point shellacking of the Cats.
The panel’s findings also noted the force of Goodes’ blow “was below that required to constitute a reportable offence”.
Hocking crashed into Lennon’s exposed head on Saturday night, but the panel said he was “contesting the ball and had no realistic alternative way to contest the ball”.
Apart from Sidebottom, the only other player facing suspension after round 11 is GWS key forward Jeremy Cameron for his hit on Jarryd Roughead.
Due to Cameron’s carryover points from striking Dylan Grimes the weekend prior, an early plea will result in a one-match ban.
Cameron clattered into Roughead’s head, but came off second best in the collision and was sent to hospital after the game for scans on a suspected broken arm.
The 21-year-old was cleared of any fracture.
Port Adelaide key forward Jay Schulz can accept a reprimand for striking Neville Jetta, having knocked the wind out of the Melbourne utility with an ungainly spoil.
North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey was cleared over an off-the-ball incident with Scott Selwood, while the match-day report against Carlton’s Chris Yarran for striking Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley was thrown out.
Hanley’s teammate Ryan Harwood can accept a $900 fine making negligent contact with an umpire.