Greater Western Sydney are set to lose one of their most valuable players for their AFL preliminary final, with forward Steve Johnson offered a one-match ban.
Johnson will miss the September 24 game against either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs if he accepts the penalty for a shoulder bump to the head of Sydney’s Josh Kennedy in Saturday’s qualifying final.
The 33-year-old risks missing the grand final with a two-match ban in the highly unlikely event the Giants challenge his sanction.
The ball had left the area when contact was made halfway through the first quarter and the blow stunned Kennedy, who left the field for a concussion test.
He returned and played out the game but it was not enough to save Johnson, with the incident classed as careless conduct with medium impact to the head.
Johnson’s glittering 275-game career makes him one of the most important players in the Giants’ maiden finals campaign.
The 2007 Norm Smith medallist missed an elimination final in 2012 after being handed a one-match ban.
There was better news for ruckman Shane Mumford, who escaped sanction for a hard tackle on Kurt Tippett which left the Swans forward rattled.
The match review panel determined Tippett’s head did not hit the ground during the tackle.
Tippett was diagnosed with a fractured jaw but the MRP found he had sustained the injury during a ruck contest earlier in the game.
Hawthorn stars Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis were each cleared for making contact with Geelong captain Joel Selwood off the ball.
Adelaide defender Kyle Hartigan can accept a $1500 fine for tripping North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas, while Geelong’s Tom Ruggles has been offered a $1000 sanction for striking Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli.
Crows Daniel Talia and Kyle Cheney and North Melbourne’s Drew Petrie, Jack Ziebell, Andrew Swallow and Shaun Higgins can all accept fines for being involved in a melee.