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McPharlin fails to beat AFL ban
By Greg Buckle
20:03 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012
Luke McPharlin
Fremantle's Luke McPharlin has failed to beat a one-match AFL ban for a front-on bump.

Fremantle key defender Luke McPharlin will miss Saturday's round-20 clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium after failing to beat a one-match ban at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.

McPharlin had been reported for making frontal contact with West Coast's Jack Darling during the first quarter of last week's game at Patersons Stadium.

The Dockers' defender unsuccessfully argued via a videolink that contact was made to the top of Darling's arm, not his shoulder, which is classified as part of the AFL's "no-bump zone".

McPharlin was also unable to convince the jury that contact was from side-on rather than front-on.

After a one-hour hearing, the 206-game veteran was handed a penalty of 137.50 points, ruling him out of Saturday's crucial encounter against the second-placed Crows.

The Dockers are in ninth spot and only outside the top eight by less than one per cent following their win over West Coast last weekend.

The loss of McPharlin is a blow to Fremantle's defensive stocks as they prepare to take on Adelaide boasting match-winning key forward Taylor Walker, while tall-marking sensation Kurt Tippett is a possible inclusion this week for the Crows if cleared to resume following a series of concussions.

McPharlin admitted under questioning from legal counsel Jeff Gleeson SC that his eyes were not on Darling at the point of contact.

However McPharlin said he could tell by the feel of the contact that it wasn't a high hit. Gleeson told the tribunal jury to ignore this remark, saying it was implausible.

"It was my intention to dislodge my opponent of the football. It's a tactic I've used often," McPharlin said.

"There was no head-high contact. My bicep made contact with his upper arm.

"Not to be disparaging to the umpire (Simon Meredith) but I was surprised that a report was laid. It was a side-on bump.

"It's not a reportable offence."

Meredith denied player advocate John Prior's suggestion that his view of the incident was blocked by West Coast's Shannon Hurn who ran past.

Prior said the tackle laid by Fremantle's Matt De Boer on Darling exaggerated the contact and meant the circumstances of the contact were not foreseeable and were beyond McPharlin's control.

But the tribunal jury of Emmett Dunne, Wayne Henwood and Wayne Schimmelbusch dismissed that argument, finding contact was front-on and high.

Fremantle pair De Boer (tripping) and Matthew Pavlich (striking) and St Kilda's Tom Simpkin (forceful front-on contact) accepted reprimands.

Hawthorn's Liam Shiels has accepted a one-game suspension for elbowing Geelong's Allen Christensen.