Sylvia cops Lyon wrath as big ban looms
Colin Sylvia. Pic: WA News

Fremantle's Colin Sylvia will risk the longest WAFL suspension in five seasons when he appears before the tribunal tonight on a level-four rough- conduct charge.

The 28-year-old, recruited from Melbourne, was playing for Fremantle's aligned team Peel on Saturday. He was yesterday offered a three-week ban for felling Subiaco opponent Brett Mahoney behind play.

But he opted to defend the matter at the tribunal where he risks a four-game suspension if he is found guilty. Sylvia escaped a match-day report, but he was charged by the WAFL report review panel after a notice of investigation was lodged by the umpires.

After viewing clear footage of the incident from a camera situated behind the goals at Bendigo Bank Stadium, the panel assessed Sylvia's action as reckless conduct, high impact and high contact.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said Sylvia's lack of discipline was the last thing the player and club needed as he neared an AFL call-up.

"Lack of discipline ... certainly not pleased," Lyon said on 6PR last night.

"It was the last thing Colin and the club needs. We have got some injury worries and he was building towards some really good form.

"It is a significant hurdle he has put in front of himself.

"(We're) certainly not pleased but life goes on and we will pick those who are available."

Subiaco confirmed that Mahoney was concussed in the incident and not able to drive his car home from Mandurah.

The Subiaco on-baller was also charged after the match but yesterday accepted a reprimand for rough conduct on Toby Gianatti in the second quarter.

Although the WAFL only uses the AFL Tribunal demerit points system as a guide, and is not bound by the rigid approach applied by the national league, the Sylvia finding was sufficient to warrant a four-week ban.

Sylvia's good WAFL record, given that he was only making his third appearance in the league after being recruited at the end of last season, meant he could be offered a three-match suspension.

Pat Travers served the longest WAFL ban of the past five seasons when he was suspended for six games for a king-hit that broke the jaw of Swan Districts opponent Brett Wolfenden in 2010.

Fellow Royal Michael Swan was rubbed out for four games in 2010 after being found guilty of rough conduct against East Fremantle's Brad Sheppard.

Meanwhile, Sandover Medal favourite Paul Johnson has rejected a reprimand for striking West Perth's Steven Potente and will contest the match-day report at the tribunal. Johnson would have been ineligible for the WAFL's premier award had he accepted the reprimand.

Given the report is at the low end of the demerit points system, it is unlikely that Johnson will be suspended even if he is found guilty at the tribunal tonight.

Claremont's John Williams accepted a reprimand for charging East Fremantle midfielder Bradd Dalziell.

And Bernie Naylor medallist Ben Saunders was also reprimanded for rough conduct against Swan Districts wingman Travis Casserly.

The West Australian

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