Longmire defends banned Swans stars

Sydney coach John Longmire has defended star duo Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett after they each received one-match bans on Monday.

Longmire spoke at a scheduled press conference minutes after the match review panel’s findings were announced and confirmed that the pair had accepted the sanctions, which rule them out of Thursday night’s clash with Port Adelaide.

While disappointed to be without his two key forwards, Longmire forgave the pair for their costly lapses against Richmond.

“I’m on the record as saying that you put yourself at risk if you decide to bump and you need to make sure you take that out of it,” Longmire said.

“But sometimes players get it wrong, they are human.

“In Lance’s particular case, he went to go for the ball … he went past the ball and made high contact and if you bump you do it at your peril.

“We’ve always encouraged our players to keep their eyes on the ball or tackle when possible.

“In Kurt’s particular case we wanted him to bring the ball to ground as much as possible, as we do all of our key forwards, and he got it wrong.”

Franklin was charged with rough conduct for his hip and shoulder on Shane Edwards in the second quarter of Friday night’s clash at the SCG.

The MRP assessed the incident as careless conduct with medium impact to the head, with the offence classified as a two-match ban that could be reduced to one with an early plea.

Tippett went into the umpire’s book for striking soon after the halftime break for his misguided attempt at a spoil that caught Tiger Dylan Grimes in the head.

He also risked a two-match ban if he took his case to the tribunal after the MRP assessed the incident as careless conduct and medium impact to the head.

The MRP’s assessments divided opinion on social media with some commentators suggesting the pair had gotten off lightly.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said that he was comfortable with how the panel came to decide upon the sanctions.

“I know they questioned whether they could take it higher than it was for one of those cases,” Evans said.

“They were pretty confident on the way they’d looked at similar incidents, particularly the Franklin one, going past the ball, that they had dealt an appropriate penalty.”

The incidents compounded the Swans’ misery on a night when they gave up a 32-point lead to lose by three goals.

In better news for Sydney, dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes is in the clear after he made contact with Taylor Hunt’s groin, with the MRP determining no further action was required.

Richmond’s Nathan Gordon also escaped sanction after the MRP assessed his high contact against Kieren Jack didn’t have sufficient force to constitute a report.

Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin wasn’t so lucky, with the MRP taking a dim view of his elbow to the throat of Adelaide defender Luke Brown.

It was assessed as intentional conduct with medium impact to the head/neck that resulted in a three-match ban that can be reduced to two with an early plea.

Gold Coast’s Andrew Raines can accept a $1000 fine for striking Carlton youngster Patrick Cripps.

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