Freo s tribunal tightrope walk
Zac Dawson. Pic: AFL Media

Fremantle defender Zac Dawson dodged a bullet yesterday when he was offered a reprimand by the match review panel for kneeing Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt.

Dawson's availability to play Brisbane at Patersons Stadium on Saturday is crucial given key back men Luke McPharlin (knee) and Michael Johnson (knee) are both sidelined and Alex Silvagni is under a cloud after copping a heavy blow to the ribs in the Dockers' 20-point win over the Tigers at the MCG.

Dawson dropped his knees into Riewoldt's back after the star Tiger spilt a mark in the first quarter of Fremantle's fourth straight win.

The contact was graded as negligent, low impact and body contact, resulting in a level-one misconduct offence and a one-match sanction, but the 28-year-old can escape with a reprimand with an early guilty plea.

Dawson had five carryover points left over from a round-two tripping charge, which forced the former Saint on to the sidelines for the round-three match against Hawthorn.

He will have a hefty 97.5 points hanging over his head if he accepts the reprimand today.

Carryover points are becoming an increasing problem for the Dockers, with 11 first-choice players now in danger of missing games for minor indiscretions in the second half of the season.

David Mundy, Hayden Ballantyne, Paul Duffield, Zac Clarke, Michael Walters, Chris Mayne, Nat Fyfe, Matthew Pavlich, Johnson and Nick Suban are the other players from last year's grand final team who have points on their record.

Fyfe has only 6.25 points following his ban in round two for a bump on Gold Coast's Michael Rischitelli, but that suspension was increased to two matches because of points on his record from a 2013 kicking charge.

Dawson, Fyfe and Ballantyne are the only Fremantle players to miss AFL games through suspension this season, but Mundy, Duffield, Clarke, Walters and Johnson have been cited.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said Dawson "got out of jail" with a reprimand for his "tardy" effort.

"It wouldn't have been ideal for us (if Dawson got suspended)," Lyon told 6PR.

"We certainly don't want any more suspensions. I wouldn't have been a happy camper."

The match-day rough conduct report made on Hawthorn star Cyril Rioli was thrown out by the MRP.

The panel said Rioli made high contact on Carlton's Zach Tuohy, but the force was below that required for a reportable offence.

Collingwood's Marley Will- iams, St Kilda's Maverick Weller and Geelong's Dawson Simpson also had their reports quashed, while Blue Dennis Armfield was fined for pushing Grant Birchall into the fence and received a reprimand for striking the Hawks defender.

·Collingwood defender Ben Reid walked away unhurt in a multiple car accident travelling to training yesterday.

Reid's car was damaged in the accident, which happened about 9.15am on the West Gate Bridge.

Collingwood said Reid was not at fault for the crash.

The 25-year-old injured a quad at training last week, the latest injury setback for the key- position player.

The West Australian

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