Geelong appear headed to the AFL tribunal after coach Chris Scott expressed his shock at the ban offered to star forward Tom Hawkins.
The AFL’s match review panel offered Hawkins a one-game suspension after he was charged with striking Greater Western Sydney co-captain Phil Davis, which would rule him out of a blockbuster clash against North Melbourne.
The punch caught Davis in the throat and the MRP ruled it was intentional conduct, with low impact to the head.
The Cats would risk a two-match suspension if they challenged the charge, meaning if they are unsuccessful they would also lose Hawkins for the round-13 match against the Western Bulldogs.
“The most I can say is that it took me by surprise … I’d seen the incident and I didn’t really give it a second thought,” Scott told Fox Footy on Monday night.
“I only got the news a couple of hours ago and it shocked me (but) now we need to be professional and work through the process.
“I’ll have my two cents worth and then (football chief) Steve Hocking and our team go to work on it.
“But it is a big, big risk to take something like this to the tribunal. We play the Bulldogs in two weeks at Etihad and it would be a big risk to lose him for that as well.”
North are top, Geelong are third and the Bulldogs are fourth on the ladder.
Hawthorn ruckman Jonathon Ceglar was also offered a one-game suspension for striking Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan.
Gold Coast vice-captain Tom Lynch can accept a $1500 fine for his brain-fade.
He punched Sydney’s Jeremy Laidler in the midriff only seconds before the final siren, an incident that angered Suns coach Rodney Eade.
Predictably, the MRP threw out Bernie Vince’s match-day report, after the Melbourne onballer was booked for striking Isaac Smith.
Demons co-captain Nathan Jones is $2500 out of pocket for a third wrestling offence, while Brisbane’s Dayne Zorko can take a $1000 penalty for striking Carlton utility Dale Thomas.
Blues key forward Levi Casboult was also fined $1000 for rough conduct against Brisbane onballer Mitch Robinson.
New Essendon cult hero Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was offered a $1000 fine for rough conduct against Fremantle forward Chris Mayne.