Hawthorn launched an impassioned ‘steel arms’ defence at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night but it wasn’t enough to get veteran Luke Hodge off a one-game suspension.
Hodge was charged by the match review panel with striking Sydney’s Tom Papley during the second quarter of the Hawks’ six-point win over the Swans at the MCG on Friday night.
But Hawks legal counsel Peter O’Farrell argued Hodge was simply moving to block Papley as he ran toward an open goal.
“We’ve got a saying – ‘steel arms’ – so if someone goes through you try to hold them or get a hand in to slow them down,” Hodge told the tribunal.
“If I had let someone go past Clarko (coach Alastair Clarkson) would have roared at me at halftime.
“If I think I’ve done the wrong thing (over my career) I’ve copped the whack – in this incident I didn’t punch or strike him so that’s why I’ve challenged.”
But the jury – consisting of Paul Williams, Stewart Loewe and Richard Loveridge – deliberated for 21 minutes before finding the four-time premiership star guilty.
The 33-year-old, who will retire at the end of the season, will miss Sunday’s clash against Richmond, which is also good mate Jarryd Roughead’s 250th game.
“We disagreed with it being (assessed as) a strike … we didn’t think it was but they didn’t agree with that,” Hodge told reporters after the hearing at AFL headquarters.
“It’s disappointing with Rough playing his 250th this week. I guess that was part of the reason behind (the challenge) as well – to try and get out there to play with him.
“But that’s footy – you take what they give you and I look forward to the week after.”
The 302-game veteran didn’t risk missing any extra matches if he was unsuccessful at the tribunal, but was slapped with a $2,500 fine in addition to the ban.
The Hawks, a game-and-a-half outside the eight in 12th, must beat the Tigers at the MCG if they are to keep their faint finals hopes alive.