AFL tribunal upholds McDonald one-week ban

The Kangaroos have failed to clear Luke McDonald of his rough conduct charge at the AFL tribunal.
The Kangaroos have failed to clear Luke McDonald of his rough conduct charge at the AFL tribunal.

North Melbourne will be forced into at least one change for their Good Friday AFL clash with Essendon, with Luke McDonald suspended for the game.

The 24-year-old fought a one-week ban for rough conduct at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night but lost.

McDonald was offered a one-match ban for a clumsy late hit while attempting to spoil Adelaide's Chayce Jones in the first quarter of Saturday night's game at Marvel Stadium.

Tribunal chairman David Jones and his panel returned a verdict just 23 minutes after a brief 22-minute hearing.

They agreed with match review officer Michael Christian's assessment that McDonald's act was "careless conduct with medium impact to the head".

AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson said McDonald had no reasonable prospect of spoiling and could and should have stopped, according to the AFL website.

Jones was concussed in the incident, but coach Brad Scott on Monday said it was "very doubtful" McDonald's action contributed to the concussion.

North Melbourne's arguments to this end on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

McDonald said he was disappointed not to play in North Melbourne's biggest home and away fixture of the year.

"This week is a massive day for the club and I won't be out there," he said.

"I thought we had a pretty good case to get off. But I just hope that Chayce is alright and that he can get up this weekend."

A medical report from Adelaide suggested Jones' participation in the Crows' round five match with Gold Coast was still in the balance, with the 19-year-old Tasmanian following normal concussion protocols.

Scott must now consider his personnel for the Essendon clash, with Sam Wright a contender to play his first game of the season after proving himself in the VFL.

"Wrighty's ready to come back into our squad," Scott said.

"It's fortunate we've got Sam Wright with VFL games under his belt now and selected, ready to play AFL if selected."

Earlier on Tuesday, Carlton youngster Will Setterfield accepted his two-match suspension for a sling tackle that concussed Gold Coast opponent Will Powell.

The young Blue will miss clashes with Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn as Carlton looks for a breakthrough win this season.

Australian Associated Press