Hawthorn’s Kyle Hartigan is facing a three-match ban after being charged by the match review official after an ugly off-the-ball strike on Carlton’s Sam Walsh was caught by fans in the stands.
Footage of the incident late in the match emerged on social media on Sunday morning with the footage seemingly showing either an elbow to Walsh’s head with the Carlton star falling to the ground after the incident.
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The AFL reportedly said it was already aware of the incident.
And the charges from the round came through with Hartigan facing a three-match suspension with an early plea.
Kyle Hartigan hit Sam Walsh off the ball 😦
(via @CFCCheersquad) pic.twitter.com/igGffBQBcE
“Based on the available evidence, the incident was assessed as Intentional Conduct, High Impact, High Contact,” the AFL released in the weekly list of charges.
Fans claimed the footage being used to catch Hartigan was “embarrassing” and “examples of how the system is broken”.
Tough for Kyle Hartigan.Source:Getty Images
Earlier in the season, Hartigan escaped with a $2000 fine after a punch on Geelong’s Tom Hawkins on Easter Monday.
It came as Hawkins claimed a mark before Hartigan came in hard over the top with a closed fist.
It was a 50m penalty on the field, but Seven commentators Brian Taylor and James Brayshaw called it “old school”, with fans slamming the comments.
As he got off the MRO had deemed it “careless” rather than “intentional”, but AFL fans savaged the call.
AFL commentator Andy Maher said at the time that Hartigan “had to get weeks” and savaged the fine.
Hartigan was one of the best players for Hawthorn in the 13.8 (86) to 9.9 (63) loss to Carlton, a match that was widely panned by AFL fans.
He held Coleman Medal leader Harry McKay to six disposals and two goals for the match.
Hawthorn plays Gold Coast in Darwin next Saturday night.
Also in the firing line was Carlton’s Lachie Plowman, who was cited for rough conduct against Jaeger O’Meara in the same match and faces a two-match ban, and Gold Coast’s Nick Holman, who faces a two-week ban for his tackle that left Geelong’s Mitch Duncan concussed.
The Holman decision was slammed as well with Maher demanding the call be challenged.
If this brilliant football play is worthy of two weeks based on injury outcome then any player kneeing a bloke in the back of the head going for a speccy could conceivably face the same scrutiny.
This is an absolute shocker of a call 🤦
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