The West

Quinten cleared for Eagles crunch match
West Coast forward Quinten Lynch emerges from the hearing on Tuesday. Picture: Ian Munro / The West Australian.

West Coast will have all of their key forwards available for Saturday night's semifinal against Collingwood at the MCG after Quinten Lynch's charging report and one-match suspension was dismissed by the AFL Tribunal yesterday.

Lynch was booked for crashing into Scott McMahon during Sunday's elimination final win over North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium.

He arrived late to a marking contest and hit McMahon in the back with his knee.

But Lynch argued he was trying to mark the ball and used vision of a similar contest where he held the mark later in the match to prove he hadn't been negligent.

Lynch was understandably thrilled after the hearing. "I was very confident coming in that we could get off the charge," he said.

"My intention was never to charge the player at all.

"It's a great result to be ready to go for the final and I'm looking forward to hopefully having a big game on Saturday night."

West Coast will now have the same forward structure which demolished the Kangaroos as Lynch, Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling play as permanent forwards with the assistance of Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui when they aren't playing in the ruck.

Lynch's availability came after Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell earlier in the day accepted a two-game suspension for rough conduct against Hawthorn's Paul Puopolo.

The Magpies must now find a replacement in defence and make up for the leadership which Maxwell provides each week.

Maxwell was forced to accept he had been reckless when he blocked and injured Puopolo and will now only play again this year if Collingwood make the grand final.

"In the end, we don't feel there was any movement for us or any room to move," he said. "I never set out with the intent of causing any damage, I wasn't trying to be aggressive, to hurt anyone.

"But in the end my technique and the way I went about it was not good enough. Reckless is probably the right word."

Maxwell said he was trying to stop Puopolo getting back into the forward 50m contest and intended only to block him.

Being a taller player, his back or shoulder blade struck Puopolo in the face, causing him to leave the ground with a bloodied nose.

"We know he's lightning quick, quicker than I am," Maxwell said. "As a defender, I do it a lot, but I just have to be better at making sure that the contact isn't high.

"I'm bitterly disappointed - I want to play in every game I can for Collingwood. It's even harder to miss (because) it's finals.

"For me now, I have a job to do in terms of helping our players with the situation of the last 24 hours and doing everything I can to support Bucks and all the players who will be representing the club on Saturday."

·North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey will miss the first six rounds next season after the tribunal upheld two striking charges out of last Sunday's loss to West Coast.

The West Australian

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