Sydney, Lance Franklin head to AFL tribunal to challenge ban for elbow on Fremantle’s Luke Ryan

Shayne HopeAAP
Lance Franklin and the Swans are off to the AFL tribunal.
Camera IconLance Franklin and the Swans are off to the AFL tribunal. Credit: Kelly Defina/via AFL Photos

Sydney will challenge the one-match AFL suspension offered to superstar Lance Franklin for striking.

Franklin was caught in a Luke Ryan tackle during the Swans’ win at Metricon Stadium on Sunday when he flung back his left elbow, making clear contact to the Fremantle defender’s head.

Match review officer (MRO) Michael Christian assessed the striking action as careless conduct, high contact and medium impact, which drew an automatic one-game ban.

West Coast’s Luke Shuey was fined for an elbow to Sydney star Callum Mills’ head in a similar incident earlier this month.

Richmond defender David Astbury and Brisbane forward Joe Daniher also escaped bans over similar incidents that were deemed less severe by the MRO.

Sydney coach John Longmire on Tuesday hinted the Swans will use those precedents in their defence of Franklin at the tribunal.

“He’s been offered the week ... obviously there’s some incidents earlier this year that will come into play, as well, that we’ll consider,” Longmire said.

It is not the first time Franklin has come under MRO scrutiny this season.

VideoAFL: Dual premiership Kangaroo David King has called out Sydney superstar Lance Franklin for not changing his behaviour when crashing into packs after the Swan's latest MRO fine.

The 34-year-old star was fined $2000 for making forceful front-on contact with Port Adelaide’s Jarrod Lienert last month.

Franklin is closing in on the 1000-goal milestone, having taken his tally to 983 with two majors against the Dockers.

A suspension would be a blow to his chances of getting there this season and would also be a hurdle for Sydney as they chase a top-four spot.

The Swans and Essendon will face off at the Gabba, with both clubs having been based temporarily in Queensland for the past fortnight.

Sydney, who were based in Victoria before that, will remain in Queensland for the time being as their home city’s COVID-19 troubles continue.

“It’s impacting all clubs and we appreciate the fact that we can play up here in Queensland,” Longmire said.

“There’s a bit of uncertainty as far as where to from here, but at least this week we know where we’re playing.”

Swans players and staff are set to be reunited with family members at the end of next week when they come out of two-week quarantine in Queensland.

“They’ve been doing it pretty tough, as have a lot of people all over the country, in lockdown,” Longmire said.

“Whether it’s their businesses or just living their day-to-day lives, they’re doing it pretty tough, so it would be good to catch up with our families if we’re able to at the end of next week.”

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