Fremantle go into battle for Balla
Hayden Ballantyne, centre front, talks to skiper Matthew Pavlich after their 40-point win over Adelaide on Sunday. Pic: Getty Images

UPDATE 11am: Fremantle will vigorously defend serial offender Hayden Ballantyne at tonight's AFL Tribunal to avoid losing a key member to a contentious suspension for the second time this year.

The Dockers forward yesterday became the third player in 2014 to have a case directly referred to the tribunal by the match review panel following his bump on Matthew Jaensch in the final quarter of Sunday's 40-point win over Adelaide.

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Ballantyne collected the Crows midfielder to the shoulder and chest as the two players were chasing a bouncing ball across half-forward.

See the Ballantyne-Jaensch collision here

Video footage showed no clear contact to the head, but Jaensch was left dazed after his neck whipped when he landed heavily.

Adelaide later confirmed he had been concussed.

Coach Ross Lyon labelled Ballantyne "undisciplined" after his one-match ban for striking and kneeing Sydney's Rhyce Shaw in round five, but backed his player on the latest incident.

"I really liked how he went about competing and trying to win the ball," Lyon told 6PR.

"I think the overall rule is very confusing and grey ... the spirit of the game is around competing, isn't it, and it's about intent and either malicious intent - going the bump - or going to compete.

"I certainly would like to see similar events judged as in the spirit of the game."

A Fox Footy still of Hayden Ballantyne's bump on Matthew Jaensch.

It is understood the MRP has referred the case because Ballantyne's penalty would have been too severe if judged using the official table of offences.

The blow would likely have been ruled reckless, medium impact and body contact - meaning a two-game ban even with an early guilty plea. The goalsneak has 87.5 carryover points.

Ballantyne's will be the only case heard at today's tribunal.

All other players have accepted their penalties, meaning out-of-form Richmond will lose Ty Vickery and Matt Thomas through suspension for Saturday’s MCG game against Fremantle.

Vickery will miss two games because of striking and Thomas is out for one game on a rough conduct charge.

Fremantle come off a six-day break to face Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

The club is already without All-Australian Michael Johnson (knee), while fellow defender Luke McPharlin is awaiting scans on an injured left knee.

Dual North Melbourne premiership player David King said Ballantyne shouldn't be banned.

"I think he's unlucky," he said.

"It's not his intent. If it's behind play or you're picking someone off or you're going outside the spirit of the game, if you're like, 5-10m off the ball, I understand it. This is clearly not that."

Nat Fyfe was the first player punished under a crackdown on head clashes, copping a two-week suspension for bumping Gold Coast's Michael Rischitelli.

The West Australian

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