FREMANTLE ruckman Aaron Sandilands will miss round one of the AFL season after accepting a sanction offered by the Match Review Panel.
Sandilands was charged with engaging in rough conduct against Ben Griffiths during Fremantle’s NAB Challenge win over Richmond in Mandurah on Friday.
The 211cm giant made contact with Griffiths’ head during a ruck duel after moving to block his run to be third-up.
The incident was classified as a two-game sanction but the early guilty plea will allow Sandilands to play in round two against Gold Coast.
In a statement Fremantle’s football operations general manager Chris Bond said the club did not want to risk Sandilands missing the opening two games, which would have occurred if it challenged the charges unsuccessfully.
“This was a long and considered decision,” he said.
“After seeking advice from our legal team on the Match Review Panel’s decision it became apparent that any challenge was a high-risk strategy that would more than likely see Aaron suspended for two weeks as opposed to one after an early plea.
“Having said that, we also believe there are currently a number of grey areas in the rule that saw Aaron charged with rough conduct, which we will be seeking clarification on from the AFL.
“We also have concerns about the third-man up situation which we also plan to raise with the AFL.”