Of the players receiving match penalties and fines from Round 13, Cat Steve Johnson and Docker Ryan Crowley chose to plead their cases at the Tribunal on Tuesday evening. Both players were unsuccessful, as more details of their behaviour comes to light.
Johnson’s high bump on Lion Pearce Hanley on Sunday resulted in an initial two match ban from the MRP. Due to the demerit point system, he was ineligible for reduction of his suspension with an early plea. His charge of negligent conduct, medium impact and high contact was upheld by the Tribunal, despite Johnson’s insisting he meant to execute a tackle, though fellow Cat Joel Corey had already caught Hanley.
Johnson will miss two matches as the Cats prepare to face Fremantle in this weekend’s Round 14 contest, followed by Hawthorn in Round 15.
Meanwhile, Kangaroo Brent Harvey has come forward to comment on the pinching allegations made against Crowley. Crowley was initially handed a $900 fine from the MPR. Choosing to fight the charge and the Tribunal finding him negligent, Crowley’s fine was increased to $1200.
Harvey’s evidence presented to the Tribunal panel revealed that Crowley pinched him ‘about 300 times.’ While Crowley disputed such claims, Harvey insists it wasn’t an isolated incident and was understandably bothered by it enough to confront Crowley when they shook hands at the end of the match on Sunday.
It’s understood Harvey first drew the umpire’s attention to the matter at quarter time, though Crowley denied any knowledge of this. Nevertheless, the Docker is free to play on Saturday night against the Cats.
AFL, ‘Crowley fines for pinching Harvey about 300 times’, http://www.afl.com.au/news/2013-06-25/crowley-guilty-of-pinching , Accessed 26th June 2013
AFL, ‘Johnson guilty, challenge fails’, http://www.afl.com.au/news/2013-06-25/steve-johnson-tribunal-challenge-fails , Accessed 26th June 2013