UPDATE: Brian Lake has been found guilty of misconduct on North Melbourne's Drew Petrie and suspended for four weeks.
Petrie will play for North Melbourne on the weekend despite pleading guilty to making unnecessary contact to Hawthorn defender Brian Lake's face, after convincing the tribunal he had acted under provocation and in self defence.
After being found guilty of misconduct, the Legal teams are discussing how the offence will be graded — Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 8, 2014
Both legal counsels have said the starting point for an outcome should be a three-week suspension — Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 8, 2014
Lake's counsel has asked for a discount on the penalty & suggest the impact should be graded as low. AFL counsel is pushing for no discount — Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 8, 2014
Petrie, who risked a one-game suspension by challenging the match review panel's offer of a reprimand with 93.75 carryover points, asked the tribunal to maintain the reprimand but remove the carryover points given what his advocate termed the "exceptional and compelling circumstances."
The North forward told the tribunal he had been trapped in a headlock by Lake's right arm and that his face had been covered by Lake's shoulder when he reached upwards with his hand, feeling that he needed "to push myself out of that position for my own safety."
He said he had pushed upwards at Lake for just two seconds, and that he had removed his hand once he realised it had made contact with the Hawthorn player's face.
A medical report provided by Hawthorn said Lake had not required any treatment at the time, and that he had been able to play the game out.
Petrie said he had felt Lake's shoulder and body pressing down on his head when the pair began wrestling two minutes into the third quarter of last Friday's match.
"He was in a dominant, aggressive position on my head. I knew I had to push out of that position to prevent any damage to myself," Petrie told the tribunal.
"I needed to push out of that position for my own safety. If I let him lie on my head and face like that... it's a position you don't want to be in for too long."
Lake's followed Petrie into the tribunal room - where his subsequent choke-hold on the Petrie had been directly referred - just before 6pm.
After the tribunal panel of Wayne Schimmelbusch, David Neitz and Richard Loveridge took just three minutes to determine his fate, Petrie said he was glad he would not have the carryover points hanging over him for the next 12 months.
"I'm looking foward to getting down to Hobart on Saturday to play against St Kilda," he said.
Lake's case for misconduct is now being heard.
The jury is now deliberating. — AFL Tribunal (@AFLTribunal) July 8, 2014
AFL counsel suggests the charge could be seen as intentional, high or severe impact & high contact. "Those are matters for the jury though" — AFL Tribunal (@AFLTribunal) July 8, 2014
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan admitted today the ugly wrestle between Lake and Petrie was not good for the game.
The match review panel referred Lake directly to the tribunal for the incident during last Friday night’s game, where he threw Petrie to the ground and grabbed the North Melbourne forward by the throat.
Petrie is challenging his own misconduct charge.
The review panel booked Petrie for making unreasonable and unnecessary contact with Lake’s face in the same incident.
‘‘I have to be careful - it’s going to the tribunal tonight and I’m pleased it’s going to the tribunal,’’ McLachlan said of Lake’s case.
‘‘That’s the right place to hear this. I agree - I don’t think this is a good look for the game.
'‘As to whether Brian has done something wrong or is guilty or what his punishment should be, that’s a decision for the tribunal.’’
The match review panel looked at the grappling undertaken by both Lake and Petrie in isolation, rather than in combination, in deciding both deserved disciplinary action.
Petrie is appearing after shunning the offer of a reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points - for their respective roles in their prolonged scuffle.
All other seven players charged over the weekend accepted discounted penalties from the panel. Essendon's Brendon Goddard, West Coast's Josh Kennedy and Brisbane's Tom Rockliff will each serve one-match penalties this weekend.
Panel member Joel Bowden defended the pursuit of the Kangaroos' Petrie, for misconduct for grabbing the face of his Hawks opponent Lake early in the scuffle.
"We looked at them (actions of Lake and Petrie) in isolation and deemed that was unreasonable or unnecessary and were quite comfortable in grading that within the current guidelines, but we were unable to grade the Lake incident so that's why it's been referred directly to the tribunal under the misconduct charge," he told the AFL website.
While Petrie's conduct was deemed negligent, the least serious in the AFL's table of penalties, Bowden confirmed the panel had considered referring him directly to the tribunal as it did for Lake.
"There was a little bit, yeah. But the issue for us is we're able to grade this under the table of offences . . . for Lake, we were unable to do that," he said.
"It (Lake's offence) is unusual, and it just doesn't fit in our table of offences."
The tribunal hearing will begin at 5pm, with Petrie's case to be heard first.
Should Petrie's challenge fail he would miss the Kangaroos' home match against St Kilda in Hobart on Saturday, and be saddled with 25 carry-over points.
Lake has not been assigned a proscribed penalty, leaving the tribunal to set a penalty of its own, if at all. The reigning Norm Smith Medallist is theoretically subject to a 10 per cent loading and 37.5 points on top of any penalty as a result of a suspension from last year's grand final, although the tribunal is not forced to apply either.
Bowden also defended the one-match suspension for Goddard's off-the-ball bump to Kane Cornes, on the basis it occurred just after a goal was scored, while the ball was being taken back to the centre, and the Port Adelaide veteran was "not reasonably expecting contact".
TRIBUNAL - ROUND 16
Drew Petrie (NM) unnecessary contact to face against Brian Lake (Haw). Negligent, low impact, high contact. 125 points (1 match).
Brian Lake (Haw) misconduct against Drew Petrie (NM). No prescribed penalty.
Luke McDonald (NM) tripping Luke Breust (Haw). Reprimand and 60 carry-over points.
Shane Mumford (GWS) striking Josh Jenkins (Adel). Reprimand and 60 carry-over points.
Tom Rockliff (BL) striking Alex Rance (Rich). 1 match and 45.31 carry-over points.
Claye Beams (BL) first offence reckless umpire contact. $1950 fine.
Rory Thompson (GC) striking Travis Cloke (Coll). Reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points.
Brendon Goddard (Ess) rough conduct to Kane Cornes (PA). 1 match and 68.75 carry-over points.
Josh Kennedy (WC) rough conduct to Zak Jones (Syd). 1 match and 82.81 carry-over points.
- with Jesse Hogan