St Kilda’s Ben Long has learned of his fate by the AFL Tribunal after his hit on Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy in Freo’s round six win over the Saints on Saturday.
Long was sent directly to the tribunal by the Match Review Officer and in Tuesday night’s hearing was suspended for three matches.
The incident was assessed as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact, with Long unable to be offered an early plea.
Long pleaded guilty to tribunal jurors Shane Wakelin, David Neitz and Stephen Jurica before a decision to ban the Saint for three weeks was reached.
The Saints argued that Long's technique had worked in other bumps from the same game, but that "in a split second" it went wrong in the Darcy case.
Representing the AFL, Jeff Gleeson QC said that three-weeks was a fair outcome for the hit.
"(Long) sees that Darcy is low, that he's wide open and that he's vulnerable,” Gleeson said.
“He enters the contest knowing all of these matters. He also moves into the contest with acceleration - there's almost a hop.
“It's not inconsistent with him bracing for contact with a sizeable opponent, but neither does he decide to ride the contact to minimise it in any way."
Darcy did not return to the field due to concussion, forcing Rory Lobb to assume the ruck duties.
Fremantle will continue to monitor Darcy’s progress throughout the rest of this week as the ruckman aims to recover in time for this Sunday’s RAC Derby.