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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Charges Laid:

Cyril Rioli (HAW), striking Port Adelaide's Nick Salter: assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point), and high contact (two points), equaling six activation points, a Level Three offense, 225 demerits, and a 2 game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 168.75 demerits and a one game suspension, with 68.75 demerits held over toward his future record.

Cyril Rioli (HAW), attempting to strike Nick Salter: classified as an offense, drawing 80 demerits. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 60 demerits and a reprimand.

AFL Note: Under the Tribunal guidelines whereby a player is charged with multiple offenses during one game, the points for each offense where the player either accepts or is found guilty are added together to form a total amount. For each amount of 100 points in the total penalty, there must be one match served as a result.

Hawthorn took Rioli's case to the Tribunal in an effort to have one of the charges dismissed. They were contesting the charge of attempting to strike as the incident occurred during the brawl which saw nine players, including Rioli, fined. Rioli accepted the fine as well as the charge of striking. Rioli later admitted that frustration led to his brain fade and said he would take responsibility for his actions but did not testify. His advocate argued that the first charge of striking, to which Rioli pleaded guilty, should be sufficient as the second swing did not connect. He further argued that it was wrong to single out one arm which did not connect as it occurred during the melee which involved other players and that there "... was not enough in it ..."  to constitute a charge. He pleaded with the Tribunal, "Why charge with missing when there is the available charge of striking?" He also argued that by being punished for the one blow, the second charge of attempting to strike amounted to a case of "double jeopardy".

After the hearing, Hawthorn football director Mark Evans said it was the same logic that the club had used. He said it was worth the challenge as during the melee "... there were lots of arms being thrown around ... and only ... one report for an attempt to strike."

The AFL legal counsel countered by saying that Rioli's attempt to strike followed immediately after his punch which did connect with Salter. He further argued that the "... blow was delivered with intent, but not ... precision ...".

The panel agreed with the prosecution and upheld the charge and suspension. Had Rioli been successful, he would have served just a one game suspension for the striking charge. He will now miss the next two games.

Brent Renouf (HAW), fined $2800 for a second melee offense. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to $2100.

The following players from both Port Adelaide and Hawthorn were charged with a first melee offense and fined $1600. All accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to $1200:

HAWTHORN Cyril Rioli, Jarryd Roughead, Brad Sewell, Chance Bateman

PORT ADELAIDE: Dean Brogan, Paul Stewart, Robbie Gray, Nick Salter

Brendan Fevola (BRIS), fined $4000 for misconduct for putting Melbourne's Colin Garland in a headlock. He accepted, reducing the fine 25% to $3000.

This charge was laid under the misconduct provisions of the MRP Table of Offenses, which allows the Match Review Panel to impose a fine for a misconduct offense which is not classified under the Table. The MRP took into account an investigation of the incident, the medical report on Garland and footage of the incident to determine that a fine rather than a charge of misconduct was appropriate.

Eric Mackenzie (WCE), striking Fremantle's Michael Johnson: assessed as reckless conduct (two points), low impact (one point), and high contact (two points), equaling five activation points, a Level Two offense, 125 demerits, and a one game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 93.75 demerits and a reprimand, with the demerits held over toward his future record.

After Mackenzie accepted, a clerical error was discovered regarding the spelling of his name and, as a result, the MRP overlooked a previous reprimand and 93.75 demerits for a rough conduct charge in Round 16. These demerits were added to the original penalty listed above, increasing the total to 218.75 demerits and a two game suspension. Mackenzie again accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 164.06 demerits and a one game suspension.

Fined $1200 for wrestling each other: Fremantle's Adam McPhee and West Coast's Patrick McGinnity; Eagle Scott Selwood and Fremantle's Stephen Hill. All four players accepted, reducing the fine 25% to $900.

Sean Dempster (STK), fined $1200 for a first offense of negligent contact with an umpire. He accepted, reducing the fine 25% to $900.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release;,

Article last changed on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 6:48 AM EDT

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