Blue blitz spells Dons disaster

ESSENDON       2.5    6.6    7.8    8.12   (60)
CARLTON         5.3   15.4   20.9  24.12  (156)          

A stunning second quarter, dominant displays across the board and another couple of Essendon injuries were the major stories from Carlton’s demolition of a 96-point victory over Essendon.

It had the atmosphere of a final, and just like the last one these two teams battled in, the scoreboard followed a similar trend.

Chris Judd returned to lead his Blues to a massive victory –

But a final currently looks unlikely for Essendon as a result of Carlton’s supreme performance.

It was tight early on, with both sides kicking early goals, giving the impression that with a spot in the eight on the line, this was going to be a hard-fought contest.

However, to define it as a contest after the 15-minute mark of the first quarter, which was approximately when Dustin Fletcher re-injured his adductor spoiling a ball in the backline, was difficult to say the least, as the Blues slammed home four goals in eight minutes to lead at quarter time.

And from there, the navy blue wave completely swamped the Bombers. Despite them kicking four goals for the quarter, Carlton bettered it with ten – their best second quarter for the year.

Jarrad Waite had kicked two, Levi Casboult had kicked two, Kade Simpson, Marc Murphy and Brock McLean chipped in from the midfield and the Blues were ruthless in their attack.

The Dons’ prime movers in Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton and David Zaharakis were being well and truly restricted – although Watson finished with 29 possessions – which allowed just about all of the attack to go Carlton’s way.

Although captain Chris Judd wasn’t as influential as normal, Murphy, Simpson, McLean and Bryce Gibbs were all dominant through the midfield, and with Jake Carlisle joining Fletcher on the injury list, Essendon’s backline simply couldn’t stand up to the constant flux and pressure.

It allowed Jarrad Waite to kick five goals, something not seen by Carlton fans for a while, in what becomes a real boost for their still-genuine finals aspirations.

With the discovery of another target in Levi Casboult’s three goals, Jeff Garlett and Andrew Walker’s form with three each, and three goals also from both Simpson and McLean, Carlton ran riot.

It was easily enough and more to inflict Essendon’s fifth loss in a row and now sees Carlton leapfrog them on the ladder, and in a much better position to push for a spot in the top eight, all but ending Essendon’s once-guaranteed finals hopes.


3 Murphy




Essendon: Crameri 2, Ryder 2, Watson, Lonergan, Stanton, Hurley
Carlton: Waite 5, McLean 3, Simpson 3, Walker 3, Garlett 3, Casboult 3, Betts 2, Murphy 2

Watson, Hocking, Heppell, Stanton, Lee, Hibberd
Carlton: Murphy, Waite, McLean, Simpson, Gibbs, Yarran

Fletcher (adductor), Carlisle (ankle)
Carlton: Nil

n: Leroy Jetta replaced Dustin Fletcher in the first quarter
Carlton: Tom Bell replaced Andrew Carrazzo in the final quarter


Umpires: McBurney, Farmer, Schmitt

Official crowd: 59,381 at the MCG

Judd-ment Day for Contenders

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Saturday August 15, 1.45pm

LAST TIME: Carlton 11.13 (79) defeated by Essendon 15.19 (109) round 4, 2012 at the MCG

Both these sides may have entered this season with highly different expectations, but the results have been very similar in what has been a chaotic year for consistency.

Both have looked capable of winning it all at stages, only to suffer a form drop off. Both have extensive injury lists and both would feel that if not for a five percent drop in performance across a few weeks they’d have already booked their place in the finals.

It certainly appears that both seasons are on the line tonight. A loss for Carlton would leave them two games outside the eight, a loss for Essendon would almost certainly see them into the bottom 10 of the ladder for the first time since last season.

Carlton appear to have found confidence after three gritty victories in captain Chris Judd’s absence. His return should provide a valuable boost to a side fighting for its life.

Judd’s bizarre ‘chicken wing’ incident seemed set to completely derail Carlton’s year. It seemed the perfect exclamation point on a year which could not have turned out much worse.

But for all the woe and disappointment encountered, they should enter the contest as overwhelming favourites.

Essendon has lost its last four matches, and five of its past six, only managing to beat Port Adelaide as their top four hopes have turned into a desperate fight to remain in the eight.

Captain Jobe Watson is a strong chance for the Brownlow Medal, but he still doesn’t receive enough support. Still, the last time these sides met Essendon announced itself with a display of physicality and gut running which completely outclassed the Blues.

As Essendon’s optimism starts to fade, they’ll live in hope that they can rediscover that form.

Final Say

Carlton seem to be a side hell bent on making the finals, and a win against Essendon will certainly keep that door ajar. A loss for either side would be disastrous, but Essendon have fallen in a rut that looks too deep for even the genius of James Hird to find an escape from.

Carlton by 18


B: Jake Carlisle, Kyle Hardingham, Dyson Heppell
HB: Alex Browne, Cale Hooker, Dustin Fletcher
C: Courtenay Dempsey, Brent Stanton, David Zaharakis
HF: Leroy Jetta, Stewart Crameri, Angus Monfries
F: Michael Hurley, Patrick Ryder, Alwyn Davey
Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Jobe Watson, Heath Hocking
I/C: Sam Lonergan, Jake Melksham, Michael Hibberd, Brendan Lee
Emg: Nathan Lovett-Murray, Travis Colyer, Mark Baguley

In: Patrick Ryder, Brent Stanton, Cale Hooker, David Zaharakis
Out: Nathan Lovett-Murray, Scott Gumbleton (Soreness), Travis Colyer, Mark Baguley


B: Nick Duigan, Simon White, Zach Tuohy
HB: Bryce Gibbs, Andrew McInnes, Christopher Yarran
C: Heath Scotland, Chris Judd, Kade Simpson
HF: Andrew Walker, Jarrad Waite, Marc Murphy
F: Eddie Betts, Levi Casboult, Jeffrey Garlett
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Mitch Robinson, Andrew Carrazzo
I/C: Dennis Armfield, Brock McLean, Edward Curnow, Tom Bell
Emg: Bret Thornton, David Ellard, Rhys O’Keeffe

In: Chris Judd, Nick Duigan
Out: Rhys O’Keeffe, Matthew Watson

BigFooty Team Board Previews:



Follow the match live on BigFooty’s Game Day Thread

Blues Keep Finals Chances Alive

CARLTON                  2.2    6.6     13.11  17.11 (113)
BRISBANE LIONS     2.6    4.11   5.13    10.17 (77)

When Carlton skipper Chris Judd was suspended for four matches after his ‘chicken wing’ incident, it appeared all hope was lost for the Blues in 2012.

Instead, an undermanned side has managed to win three of the contests and kept its season alive after comfortably beating the Lions at Etihad Stadium on Saturday by 36 points.

The Lions effort in the first half could not be faulted, with Brisbane taking a lead into the quarter time break and only trailing by seven points at the half. The Lions had every right to feel as though they deserved a lead, with several opportunities at goal being wasted by poor kicking.

Eventually, the Lions wore down as the Blues dominated the third term, kicking seven goals to one in order to completely end the contest. It was more than enough for the Blues who would be outscored in the final quarter.

The loss should greatly disappoint the Lions, who, aside from the third term, played football which would have given them every chance of claiming an interstate victory.

Bryce Gibbs played one of his best matches for the year with 33 possessions and a goal, but it was the depth of the Blues’ midfield which did most of the damage, with the Lions unable to compete as Brock McLean, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, Andrew Carrazzo and Heath Scotland all playing strong games.

With Essendon losing ground to the chasing teams outside the eight, Carlton now has a perfect opportunity to claim a finals berth as they face the Bombers next week.




 Betts 3, Garlett 3, Armfield 2, Casboult 2, Kreuzer 2, Walker, Gibbs, Carrazzo, Waite, Bell

Brisbane Lions: Bewick 2, Brown 2, Green 2, Beams 2, Lester, Zorko

Carrazzo, Gibbs, Simpson, Murphy, Betts, Garlett, Scotland, Walker, Bell
Brisbane Lions: Redden, Rockliff, Hanley, Lester, Bewick, Lisle, Green

Betts (calf)
Brisbane Lions: Matt Maguire (ankle) replaced in the selected side by Elliott Yeo

 Rhys O’Keefe replaced Eddie Betts (calf) in the final quarter

Brisbane Lions: Claye Beams replaced Todd Banfield at three-quarter time

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Ryan, Findlay

Official crowd: 25,977 at Etihad Stadium

Blues Battle Brisbane For Finals Fantasy

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday August 11, 7.40pm

Carlton are still clinging to their slim chance to make finals and must beat Brisbane this week to stay in the race.

Last week the Blue’s chances took a hit with a 22 point loss to Sydney. They put up a valiant effort against the top team and must back it up this week to win.

Brisbane also were on the wrong end of a loss, going down to Richmond by 48 points. It was a winnable game so they will be looking to redeem themselves this week, and they are not without a chance.

The Blues will head into the game without fullback Michael Jamison, which will leave them exposed to the height of Jonathan Brown and Daniel Merrit who may return forward.

What Carlton Will Want to See  

While it is still possible to make finals Carlton are not as intent as making it as the teams above them. This approach has allowed them to blood some inexperience such as Levi Casboult and Tom Bell who have held their own. Another solid performance this week would be great for their confidence and development.

Last week also saw the return of Jarrad Waite, with 3 goals and 8 marks he was a welcome return. The Blues will want another good performance which could even be confined to creating the contest that they have desperately missed in the forward line.

What Brisbane Will Want to See

Last week  Simon Black started as the sub. Having a fit 3 time All Australian, 3 time premier and Brownlow medallist on the bench is farcical. He showed when he came on how good he still is so he must start on the field if the Lions are any chance.

Brisbane will really want to push Carlton this week. Throughout the season the Lions have made steps forward including beating West Coast. If they want to start contending for finals in the near future they need to start winning games like these, interstate games against teams that sit above them.


With Brisbane no chance of making finals they would like nothing more than to come to Melbourne and end Carlton’s hopes.

However Carlton have been able to make the most of less than desirable situation and find some good form. The fact that it is played in Melbourne will give the Blues the edge in what will be a close game.

Carlton by 8pts

Swans march towards September

CARLTON 3.1 5.3 6.6 10.11 (71)

SYDNEY SWANS 4.4 8.6 11.8 14.9 (93)

The Swans celebrated Ryan O’Keefe’s 250th game with a win. Photo/

The Swans have continued on their merry way as they march towards a home final, doing what was needed against a solid Carlton at Etihad on Sunday.

Their 22-point victory leaves Carlton with little hope of making the finals after a commanding start to the season but it’s not all doom and gloom at the Blues.

Carlton never said die during the game; just as the Swans looked to kick away, they managed to claw their way back into it. Sydney’s midfield just proved too powerful in the end.

The Blues welcomed back Jarrad Waite, Kade Simpson and Zack Tuohy and they were important additions, especially Waite. The often injured key forward kicked three goals and strengthened Carlton’s structures throughout.

Still, the Swans were impressive enough in veteran Ryan O’Keefe’s 250th game and had some standout performances. 2010 Rising Star Daniel Hannebery continued a fantastic 2012 campaign, racking up 31 disposals and kicking 2 important goals.

He was ably assisted by Jarrad McVeigh (28 disposals, 1 goal), Kieran Jack (26 disposals, 8 tackles, 1 goal) and a cameo through the centre by Nick Malceski.

Up forward, Sydney were missing young key forward Sam Reid through injury, but used Lewis Roberts-Thomson (2 goals) as a useful tall while Ben McGlynn (22 disposals, 3 goals) crumbed and provided good support.

Sydney also easily won the ruck battle, with Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke taking the honours against a solid Matthew Kreuzer.

The Blues fought back in the second half of each quarter – bar the third – to close the gap. After being 21 points down at the half, they managed only one goal in the third and found themselves behind by 32.

However, they powered home towards the end and the margin could have been closer if it were not for some poor kicking.

The resurgance of Brock McLean through the middle continued for Carlton, as he racked up 29 disposals and 8 tackles. Bryce Gibbs started the game on Adam Goodes and was solid. He finished strongly in an impressive performance.

While Waite got free and led well, young Carlton forward Levi Casboult was well held by Ted Richards and restricted to one goal. Underrated defender Nick Smith also forced Eddie Betts to push up the ground. Carlton often bombed the ball forward to a parade of red and white awaiting the ball gleefully.

Sydney will be happy to get the win, although it isn’t all smiles at Bloods-land, with veteran Jude Bolton going down with a knee injury, possibly robbing him of a 300th at the SCG. Carlton didn’t escape unscathed either with key defender Michael Jamison tweaking a sore hamstring.


3) Daniel Hannebery (Sydney)

2) Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney)

1) Ted Richards (Sydney)


Sydney Swans: McGlynn 3, Hannebery 2, Roberts-Thomson 2, Bird, Goodes, Jack, McVeigh, Jetta, Malceski, Mumford

Carlton: Waite 3, Armfield 2, Garlett 2, Casboult, Gibbs, Murphy


Sydney Swans: Hannebery, Jack, Goodes, Malceski, McVeigh, McGlynn, Richards, Smith

Carlton: Gibbs, McLean, Waite, Bell, Murphy, Yarran

Swans Fly South To Deal With Blues

There would be two games that stick in the minds of the Sydney Swans from earlier in the season. Their awful effort against the Tigers and performance against the Saints, saw them completely  dominated from start to finish. These could cause doubts in the minds of players, so a win against the Blues to back their last gasp victory of the Dons will be handy going into September.

Carlton on the other hand, have a greater task. A loss against the Swans, alongside a victory to North Melbourne  could see them two games out of eight and staring down the barrel of a September holiday.



Their hardened midfield at full flight is essential viewing for any footy fan. They bat deep, often swarm around the ball and extract it with ease. With Josh Kennedy and Keiran Jack in red-hot form, Ben McGlynn and Craig Bird playing defensive midfield roles & Jarryd McVeigh and Daniel Hannerbury bring up the rear, the task for Carlton becomes immense in the middle. Such a talented midfield bunch is able to not only pressure the opposition into submission, but move the ball quickly and even run forward to score. Considering the absence of Judd, Sydney should be able to stretch Carlton with midfielders being able to hit the scoreboard.

One thing that could hinder the Swans, is the absence of key forward Sam Reid and potentially Shane Mumford. Even if Mumford plays, he will be severely underdone and proppy from his re-occurring injuries. Considering Kruezer has been battling well through injury, some ascendancy in this department may quell some of the influence of the Swans midfield.


Bryce Gibbs maybe feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, but the criticisms that have come his way this season aren’t exactly astray.  Gibbs has a role to play on Sunday, and it involves most likely quelling Adam Goodes. The Swans X-factor needs to be taken out of the game; and Gibbs has the footy smarts and height just to do that. If Gibbs can also influence the game offensively by rebounding off half-back, that’s a huge win for his confidence and his team on game day.

Considering the form of Ted Richards, whoever plays forward for Carlton in a key position needs to make him accountable. Not only has his stifiling of opposition key forwards top notch, but his also able to win the ball, and start the rebound from defense. If it’s Waite or Casboult, they both must get on top early to prevent him from playing with an offensive mindset. Preventing Sydney’s rebounding is halfway to beating them, and will ensure decent pressure from all the forwards.

Prediction: The Swans just seem to have a little more to play for, and Carlton will be missing Judd in an encounter like this. The confines of Etihad Stadium favors the Swans with their hardened midfield depth and fast rebounding tactics.

Swans by 36.

AFL unable to act on McLean tanking claims

Tank Accident

“[Bailey] was saying it was all in the category of development etc. – his players were always trying and [there was] never any intent to lose.”

– Adrian Anderson, August 2011, following comments by former Melbourne coach Dean Bailey.

Next minute, Melbourne charged with tanking because of Brock McLean’s comments? Possible, but highly unlikely.

The AFL has put itself in a bind regarding tanking. Anderson’s statements in the middle of last year meant that tanking would not be looked at in cases up to and including the 2009 debacle.

If the AFL was to investigate the allegations against Melbourne, they would have to investigate other clubs. There’s the 2007 ‘Kreuzer Cup’ in Round 22 between Carlton and Melbourne. Terry Wallace ‘doing nothing’ in 2007. Efforts by Hawthorn and Collingwood in early 2000s and West Coast putting players in for early surgeries when it was clear the season was shot are all other examples of tanking.

The Collingwood example saw them gain Scott Pendlebury and Dale Thomas, cornerstones of their current side. Reports were made at the time of many of these allegations and even Brendan Fevola’s new book makes mention of the tanking at Carlton. Yet the AFL have only investigated one case of the offence.

If it is a crime, then Melbourne have to be punished. Since the tanking year in 2009, Melbourne have not made the finals. The club has gone backwards in a year of both on-field and off-field hell.

The supporter base is completely demoralised; one look at the comments on the official Melbourne Facebook page after yet another loss shows that. Recent history has compounded into a season of hell. The two Melbourne jumper sponsors are short-term after the EnergyWatch scandal. For the AFL to add to this might even put the club’s existence at risk.
Many supporters seeing, say, a loss of draft picks on top of five years of terrible performances might give up on the club for the time being.  Memberships and merchandise sales would surely suffer.

Finally, what’s to be gained from such a punishment? The coach of 2009 has been sacked. The then-president of Melbourne is a legend among the eyes of many Melbournians and not just supporters of the Demons, and dragging his name through the mud since his passing is a sure-fire way to come under attack from the mainstream media.

It’s too much of a risk to the AFL for them to go after Melbourne. A quiet word to clubs, saying that the party is over and if you’ve got people who come out and say this again, we will punish you, will be the way to go.

Otherwise the last decade of AFL football will forever be tarnished by the actions of various clubs over the years.

Grinners and Moaners Round 18

Greek Tragedy MasksGrinners


The chase is on. It could be scoffed at earlier in the year when it was suggested that a side could win the flag from outside the top 4, but who’s laughing now? Geelong, clearly, can never be counted out. Their run home sees a mega-blockbuster against Hawthorn next Friday night, West Coast in Perth, St Kilda, the Bulldogs and Sydney in Geelong, which is tough, but their win has shown that tough simply may not be enough to stop the Cats as they amp up for September.

West Coast

The Eagles desperately needed that percentage recovery, as it will lead to West Coast jumping either Adelaide or Collingwood should either side slip up. Moreover, it was just the sort of stabiliser that the Eagles needed before one of the hottest derbies in a while, with Freo needing to win to keep their finals hopes alive while West Coast want to crack the top 4.


Oh boy. If Carlton make the finals, it will be a case of falling into the eight rather than making it on their own merit. The massive injection of luck that they received on Saturday night will surely have to be repeated in order for the Blues to get their, but there’s still life signs in the hope of September.

North Melbourne

10 wins now, coupled with Essendon’s loss, sees North looking at 7th spot at the end of Round 23. They have one guaranteed win against GWS in round 23, as well as a probable against the Bulldogs. The Roos have to take on Collingwood as well as Fremantle in Perth, but looming large is the clash with Essendon in two weeks’ time, a match which very well could be the sealer for finals one way or the other for both sides.

St Kilda

Somehow the Saints remain discounted from finals contention. Such an idea is strange, as they sit on 9 wins (equal with Carlton) and have an easier run home, with games against GWS and Melbourne. They continue to quietly chip away at their chances, and a slip or two elsewhere will see them into September action.


Hawthorn’s 23rd player

The Hawks have both Lance Franklin and David Hale to return. Max Bailey seems the obvious omission for Hale, but the Buddy question looms large. Hawthorn’s forward line is in fact performing damn well without him.  Someone has to go to fit the guy leading the Coleman chase… but who?


Another week, another ‘honourable’ loss. 8 of Richmond’s games have been decided by a margin of two goals or less, of which they’ve won two, against St Kilda or GWS. If they’d converted another two for a 50-50 win rate, they’d be 9-8 and well in the finals hunt. Instead, their chances are almost certainly over once again.


The wheels are quickly falling off the Bombers’ season. With their continuing injury list and the numerous other sides who are hunting finals that they play between now and the start of September action, there is still the risk that Essendon could miss the finals due to the realities of their run home.

Melbourne and the Bulldogs

The silence is deafening. The seasons are over already for both, and it’s without a care by most in the footy world.


The more this season goes on, the less impressive the Crows seem despite their ladder position. When Adelaide lose, it seems to be a whimper more than a tight contest, with a fifteen to twenty minute lapse in concentration leading to huge scoreboard damage.

Battling Blues to Beat Bulldogs

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday July 17, 7.40pm
LAST TIME: Western Bulldogs 14.12 (96) d Carlton 9.15 (69), round 16, 2011 at the MCG

Although the Western Bulldogs have struggled this season, they will present a tough ask for a Carlton side which has had a tumultuous year – to say the least.

They will bring back the experience of Jordan Russell and Bret Thornton, but the losses they have suffered far outweigh the gains. The Blues have this week lost skipper Chris Judd along with Andrew Walker, Lachie Henderson and Matthew Kreuzer.

Based off this, and their recent form, a match against a Dogs will not be a walk in the park.

The Bulldogs have relied upon their veterans this season, with their young stars all showing signs but struggling to produce consistently. This can be a severe problem when your forward line is filled with youth, and as we’ve seen the Dogs have suffered with forward efficiency at time, but the play from Mitch Wallis, Tom Liberatore and Luke Dahlhous has been the highlight of the year.

Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffin, Robert Murphy and Daniel Cross have been brilliant in the midfield, but the Dogs suffer through the hole left from the exit of Barry Hall last year.

A loss here would signal the end of Carlton’s plans for a finals campaign – plans which are already starting to look highly unlikely.

Final Say

The Blues would have every right to have had this match marked down as a victory in their preseason predictions, but their form of the past few months has seen them in a freefall down the ladder.

They still should win, but it will be a close contest.

Blues by 7

Western Bulldogs

B: Patrick Veszpremi, Brian Lake, Robert Murphy
HB: Lindsay Gilbee, Mark Austin, Christian Howard
C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Mitchell Wallis
HF: Ryan Griffen, Ayce Cordy, Daniel Giansiracusa
F: Luke Dahlhaus, Tom L. Williams, Shaun Higgins
Foll: William Minson, Thomas Liberatore, Liam Picken
I/C: Jarrad Grant, Jason Tutt, Nathan Djerrkura, Daniel Pearce
Emg: Ryan Hargrave, Jordan Roughead, Zephaniah Skinner

In: Daniel Giansiracusa, Jarrad Grant, Patrick Veszpremi, Daniel Pearce, Mark Austin

Out: Ryan Hargrave, Lukas Markovic (Hamstring), Justin Sherman, Clay Smith (Calf), Tory Dickson (Adductor)


B: Paul Bower, Michael Jamison, Aaron Joseph
HB: Andrew McInnes, Nick Duigan, Christopher Yarran
C: Bryce Gibbs, Mitch Robinson, Heath Scotland
HF: Jeffrey Garlett, Matthew Watson, Eddie Betts
F: Dennis Armfield, Bret Thornton, Andrew Collins
Foll: Levi Casboult, Marc Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo
I/C: Jordan Russell, Brock McLean, Edward Curnow, Tom Bell
Emg: David Ellard, Simon White, Frazer Dale

In: Paul Bower, Jordan Russell, Bret Thornton, Levi Casboult, Tom Bell

Out: Andrew Walker (Calf), Chris Judd (Suspension), Matthew Kreuzer (Hip), Lachlan Henderson (Groin), Kane Lucas (Hamstring)

New: Levi Casboult (Dandenong Stingrays), Tom Bell (Morningside)

Merrett escapes while Judd and Ziebell take a hit at the AFL Tribunal

Daniel Merrett has escaped charge. Photo:

Carlton’s Chris Judd and North Melbourne’s Jack Ziebell have been suspended by the AFL Tribunal.

Judd was hit with a four week ban for causing intentional misconduct against Kangaroo Leigh Adams. The Blues skipper insisted that he did not intend to hurt Adams, however the Tribunal jury disagreed. Judd was hit with a penalty of 450 points, resulting in a four-match ban.

Carlton said that they were disappointed with the result but decided not to challenge on Wednesday Afternoon. Judd admitted that his action was unacceptable, but again reiterated after the hearing that he never intended to hurt Adams and that he was trying to assist teammate Andrew Carrazzo in stripping the ball from the Kangaroo.

“I’d just like to reiterate that it was never my intention to hurt Leigh Adams.”

The two-time Brownlow Medallist now has another charge to add to his record, which includes eye gouging former Hawk and now Gold Coast hard man Campbell Brown in 2007, which he was cleared of, and making unnecessary face contact during the 2009 Finals Series with former Lion Michael Rischitelli.

North Melbourne’s Jack Ziebell was also rubbed out for four matches. The Kangaroos young gun was originally offered a three-match ban by the Match Review Panel, but decided to try his luck at the Tribunal.

Ziebell was cited for a rough conduct charge on Carlton’s Aaron Joseph during the second quarter of Friday Night’s match. North Melbourne have already announced that they will not challenge the Tribunal’s decision.

Teammates took to twitter to vent their anger, with Drew Petrie tweeting “Advice for @JackZiebell. Stop being so courageous and playing footy hard the way it’s meant to be played. Please turn into a softy.” Rookie Majak Daw also retweeted an angry Kangaroos’ fans tweet.

Earlier in the night, Brisbane’s Daniel Merrett also faced the Tribunal and escaped a level-two charging offence against St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt. Merrett is free to play this weekend after the jury ruled that the offence was negligent and not reckless.