Sports

Lance Franklin, tribunal hearing result, Sydney Swans, strike, Richmond, Trent Cotchin


Lance Franklin will not face reigning premiers Melbourne on Saturday night after the Sydney superstar failed to have his one-game suspension for a strike scrapped.

Franklin was handed a one-match suspension for an off-the-ball strike on former Richmond captain Trent Cotchin at the SCG last Friday night.

In handing down the verdict, tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said the strike of the 1023-goal great was “aggressive and forceful”.

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“Mr Franklin intended to strike Mr Cotchin,” Gleeson said.

“He was looking directly at him. His response was spontaneous and intentional.”

Franklin and his counsel, Duncan Miller, argued it was not a strike, not intentional and any impact was negligible instead of low.

The AFL‘s match review officer had graded the incident as intentional conduct, low impact and high contact.

“I’m tempted to say he might be invited to the Logies and not the Brownlow this year,” Miller said of Cotchin in a colourful tribunal hearing.

But AFL counsel Andrew Woods claimed Franklin’s actions were “brazen” and “cowardly”.

Woods fired an entertaining line of his own, saying: “It’s AFL, not Fight Club or a combat sport”.

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Franklin and his counsel tried to have the ban reduced to a fine but Gleeson, after absorbing more than an hour of evidence, rejected the push.

Franklin booted five goals to lead the Swans to a six-point win over the Tigers, but the brain fade of the four-time Coleman Medallist was a cause for concern.

The Swans are sitting in seventh ahead of the clash with the Demons, who are one win clear on top of the ladder but lost to Fremantle by 38 points last Saturday afternoon.

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