Bad boy Steve Johnson has again been handed a ban by the AFL’s match review panel and is set to miss Geelong’s match with Fremantle.

Steve Johnson is set to miss Geelong’s crunch match with Fremantle after being charged with kneeing Kangaroo Scott Thompson.

Cats coach Chris Scott will face an overnight conundrum whether to challenge the ruling at the tribunal on Tuesday, or be without the mercurial midfielder for one of the games of the season.

As well as a rematch of last season’s qualifying final that paved the way for Fremantle’s maiden grand final appearance, the Saturday night match is likely to be crucial in determining the final make-up of the AFL’s top four.

The offence – assessed as low impact to the body but reckless – sits on the borderline of reportable incidents and would normally produce a reprimand with a guilty plea.

Johnson’s bad record is the kicker, his six weeks off in the past two years handing the midfielder a 40 per cent loading.

Should the Cats choose to challenge the ban, Johnson risks a two-week ban which would see him miss the round-21 match against Carlton as well.

Richmond’s Reece Conca has been offered a two-match ban for lashing out at Giants youngster Devon Smith.

Conca’s brain-snap came after a tussle with Smith, with the 21-year-old midfielder swinging his elbow at Smith’s head from behind.

It was ugly; a moment he’d no doubt like again.

The charge was viewed as a level four striking offence – seen as intentional, medium impact and high contact.

Brisbane defender Daniel Merrett has been cleared for a crude late shot on Melbourne forward Cam Pedersen.

Merrett was reported for the hit, which left Pedersen bloodied and needing bandages to play out the game.

The match review panel spared Merrett, saying he had eyes for the ball and caught Pedersen in a legitimate spoiling attempt.


Reece Conca (Richmond) – striking – two weeks

Steve Johnson (Geelong) – kneeing – one week

Nick Graham (Carlton) – rough conduct – reprimand

Tom Liberatore (Western Bulldogs) – reckless contact with umpire – $1950

Dyson Heppell (Essendon) – negligent contact with umpire – $900

Bachar Houli (Richmond) – wrestling – $900

Rhys Palmer (GWS Giants) – wrestling – $900

Jack Newnes (St Kilda) – wrestling – $900

Tom Lynch (Gold Coast) – wrestling – $900

David Armitage (St Kilda) – melee – $900

Bill Longer (St Kilda) – melee – $900

Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast) – melee – $900

Dion Prestia (Gold Coast) – melee – $900