Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne is set to receive a ‘please explain’ from the AFL’s integrity unit after being caught using his phone during Friday’s 60-point NAB Challenge win over Richmond in Mandurah.
Ballantyne was forced off early in the second quarter after suffering a minor hamstring injury in the 14.6 (90) to 4.6 (30) victory.
The 28-year-old was then pictured using his mobile phone in the change rooms during the match.
Under AFL rules aimed at stamping out the leaking of inside information that could be used for betting, players are forbidden to use their mobile phones during matches.
But Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Ballantyne was probably just letting loved ones know he was OK, rather than getting up to something sinister.
“He’s got a wife and two young kids who are probably not at the game,” Lyon said.
“If I hypothesise (what he texted), it’s probably: “I’m hurt – love I’m ok.”
“And if it’s that, you would think he might just get a little tap on the wrist and we all move on, and common sense prevails.
“The integrity unit – there’s some pretty smart blokes in there, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”
Ballantyne is likely to escape with a fine at worst over the incident.
Lyon is confident Ballantyne will be fit for the start of the AFL season despite the hamstring setback.
Richmond forward Ty Vickery lasted less than a quarter before exiting the game following a heavy head knock.
Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands might come under scrutiny for his heavy bump that knocked the wind out of Ben Griffiths in the third quarter.
Fremantle entered the match with a near full-strength side, while Richmond unleashed a youthful squad missing stars such as Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt, Alex Rance and Trent Cotchin.
The mismatch in experience was evident throughout the match.
Fremantle’s little men did the bulk of the damage in the opening term as Michael Walters and Ballantyne weaved their magic.
Walters tallied eight disposals through the midfield in the first quarter as Fremantle booted the first seven goals of the match to effectively end the contest.
Fyfe entered the fray in the third term with his team holding a 27-point lead, and the Brownlow medallist didn’t waste time making his mark, finishing the match with 18 disposals.
He also took a brave mark backing into the pack, showing no ill effects from the back injury he suffered just before Christmas.
Dockers skipper Matthew Pavlich, who considered retirement at the end of last season, booted four goals in a strong display.
The Tigers were well served by Reece Conca, Shaun Grigg and Kamdyn McIntosh, but they simply lacked the experience to match Fremantle’s battle-hardened outfit.
Richmond’s first pick from last year’s national draft – Daniel Rioli – finished with just four disposals in a low-key debut.