Geelong star Tom Stewart will miss the next four AFL games for his high bump on Richmond midfielder Dion Prestia.
- Tom Stewart’s counsel argued a three-game suspension was appropriate
- Tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson said the degree of carelessness by Stewart was “high”
- Dion Prestia is set to miss at least one game due to the concussion
The AFL Tribunal handed down the suspension on Tuesday night after Stewart was referred directly and did not contest the charge.
The Cats unsuccessfully argued for a three-game ban, with tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson saying the degree of carelessness was “high”.
Stewart will miss Geelong’s games against last-placed North Melbourne, top side Melbourne, fifth-placed Carlton and 12th side Port Adelaide.
Geelong are second after beating the Tigers, with Stewart knocking out Prestia late in the first quarter on Saturday night at the MCG.
Prestia was forced out of the game and the ugly incident reignited debate about whether a sin bin or send-off rule is needed in the AFL.
Stewart was remorseful and the Cats argued that should count in his favour when it came to the penalty.
He was charged with rough conduct and the incident was graded careless, severe impact and high contact.
The Cats raised Sam Reid’s two-game ban and Patrick Dangerfield’s three-match suspension last season on rough conduct charges as they argued for a three-game penalty.
But AFL advocate Nicholas Pane said the bump was delivered at speed and Prestia was vulnerable when Stewart made impact, adding the concussion was “a serious injury in itself”.
This will Stewart’s first suspension in his AFL career.
He conceded before the hearing he was “at the mercy of the tribunal” and indicated he would accept his punishment.
Richmond’s medical report on Prestia, which was tabled in the tribunal hearing, said a CT scan had cleared Prestia of any facial fractures from the bump.
But he will miss a game at least because of his concussion.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC