North Melbourne will be without leading goalkicker Nick Larkey for the AFL clash with Fremantle after he was issued a one-match AFL ban for tunnelling.
Carlton’s Liam Stocker and Lewis Young also face one-match suspensions, amid five charges that stem from the Kangaroos-Blues game.
Larkey moved underneath Young as the Carlton defender flew for a mark, sending him crashing to the ground.
It sparked a melee during a heated third quarter in Saturday night’s clash at Marvel Stadium, which the Blues won by 50 points.
Young faces a one-match suspension for forceful front-on contact with Cameron Zurhaar in the final term.
Stocker will miss join Young in missing next Sunday’s home game against Adelaide after he was charged with rough conduct against Tarryn Thomas in the third term.
The AFL match review officer assessed Larkey’s action as intentional, medium impact and contact to the body.
Larkey will receive the ban regardless of whether he takes an early plea.
Young’s incident with Zurhaar was assessed as careless conduct, high impact and body contact.
His penalty and Stocker’s are also unaffected by an early plea.
Stocker’s rough conduct charge was graded as careless, medium impact and high contact.
When asked about Larkey’s incident post-match, Kangaroos coach David Noble said he would again have to address ill-discipline with his players.
It comes after Noble was left frustrated by his players giving away too many free kicks in their round-one defeat to Hawthorn.
“I’d have to have a look at the replay. Obviously the umpire felt like it was intentional,” Noble said of Larkey’s act.
“But we were chasing the game at that point. I don’t think that was an incident that shifted the game.
“There were already five or six goals after they’d jumped us pretty quickly.
“The discipline is something we’re just going to have to address internally again.”
Larkey has kicked 17 goals in seven rounds, more than twice as many as North Melbourne’s next most prolific forward Jack Ziebell (seven).
The Kangaroos have lost five-straight games to be second from bottom with just one win – and face high-flying Fremantle on Friday at Optus Stadium.
“I don’t know if there’s any easy (games) at the moment,” Noble said.
“But our group embraces taking on the best because you learn quickly and you can move forward and you can grow.
“That will be the essence of what we do this week.”
Ziebell was fined $1000 for tripping and teammate Jason Horne-Francis faces a $2000 striking penalty.