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North Melbourne to fight Luke McDonald’s one-match ban at AFL tribunal

The AFL’s match review process will again be put to the test on Tuesday when North Melbourne challenge Luke McDonald’s rough conduct suspension at the tribunal.

McDonald was offered a one-match ban for a clumsy late hit while attempting to spoil Adelaide’s Chayce Jones in the first quarter of Saturday night’s game at Marvel Stadium.

Jones failed a subsequent concussion test and played no further part in the game but the Kangaroos have questioned whether it was the McDonald hit which knocked out the Crows player.

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Roos coach Brad Scott on Monday night highlighted footage which appeared to show Jones’s head making accidental contact with McDonald’s knee as he landed.

“I suspect we’ll go to the tribunal on this one,” Scott told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“It’s very doubtful that the contact Luke made, in my view, contributed to the concussion. The question is his left knee (and) what actually caused the issue itself.

“I thought it was certainly a free kick and a 50-metre penalty but I think we’ll challenge the week.”

Match review officer Michael Christian assessed the incident as careless conduct with medium impact to the head.

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The Kangaroos’ decision to challenge means the tribunal will sit for a third-straight week with just four rounds on the board.

Collingwood’s Mason Cox had his one-game ban for rough conduct from round two overturned, while Richmond superstar Dustin Martin last week convinced the tribunal to downgrade a striking suspension from two games to one.

Christian, who is now solely responsible for determining the initial sanctions after an AFL overhaul, on Monday dismissed criticism of his decisions while noting he was limited to video footage and medical reports in making his determinations.

“The match review function is separate to the tribunal function,” he said.

“I see (successful challenges as) the process working.”

Carlton on Tuesday confirmed youngster Will Setterfield has accepted his two-match suspension for a sling tackle that concussed Gold Coast opponent Will Powell.

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