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Port's Hartlett gets two-week AFL ban
By Greg Buckle and Robert Grant
20:22 AEST Tue Aug 14 2012

Hamish Hartlett's birthday turned sour on Tuesday when the Port Adelaide midfielder was suspended for two matches by the AFL Tribunal.

Hartlett will be available for 14th-placed Port's last-round clash with Richmond at the MCG on September 2, after missing games against West Coast and Brisbane.

The 22-year-old had pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally striking Hawthorn's Cyril Rioli during the first quarter of Sunday's round-20 clash in Launceston.

Rioli was left on all fours and winded and was unable to return late in the first term, but recovered to kick a goal in the first minute of the second quarter.

Player advocate Ben Krupka sought to downgrade the charge, arguing via a video link in evidence that Hartlett's blow to Rioli was a result of a bumping duel and should be classified as low impact rather than medium impact.

Rioli said in a statement he was struck by a fist or an elbow and he tried to play on but couldn't.

"We don't dispute he was winded," Krupka said.

"It was Rioli who initiated contact. Mr Hartlett doesn't have direct recollection of a hit to the stomach."

The tribunal jury was shown video from the game, although there was no clear close-up vision of the incident.

Hartlett said there was no doubt one of his collisions with Rioli had led to his collapse.

"I certainly had no intention of injuring Cyril. I was just trying to get a couple of metres ahead of him," said Hartlett, who apologised to Rioli after the game.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood accepted a reprimand for making unnecessary or unreasonable contact with an injured player.

Selwood, who collided heavily with his brother and West Coast player Adam Selwood in last Friday's game, gave Adam an angry shove as the Eagles defender lay on the ground injured and as a West Coast trainer was attempting to offer assistance.

"The odds are stacked against you if you appeal something," Geelong coach Chris Scott said on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of pretty good cases I think you could make, particularly the fact that Joel's been charged with interfering with an injured player who wasn't injured.

"That's probably key to that story but, on balance, he won't miss a week.

"Are we at the point now that after every contest that you've got to inquire as to the health of all the players at the bottom of the pack? I don't think we're quite there yet.

"It's very disappointing that he will have those 80-odd carryover points but I think the probability is it's something that we will just have to live with."

Scott said while in principle a challenge could be made, the reality was that the seventh-placed defending premiers could not afford to go into Friday's game against 10th-placed St Kilda without Selwood.

Western Bulldog Ryan Hargrave has accepted a one-game ban for striking Richmond's Daniel Jackson and Carlton's Mitch Robinson and Gold Coast's Harley Bennell have accepted fines for wrestling and making negligent contact with an umpire respectively.


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