Stevie J set to miss blockbuster

Written By Unknown on Senin, 18 Februari 2013 | 14.43

Best of mates? The field umpire asks Cats Steve Johnson and Hayden Ballantyne to cool it. Source: Getty Images

Geelong's Steve Johnson crunches Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne during their Round 1 NAB Cup match at Patersons Stadium. Source: Getty Images

GEELONG star Steve Johnson is set to miss the Round 1 blockbuster against Hawthorn after being charged with striking.

Johnson can accept a one-week game suspension for striking Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne in Saturday night's NAB Cup clash at Patersons Stadium.

The Match Review Panel charged Johnson with a Level Two striking offence (125 demerit points, one match) for striking Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne in the second half of the teams' match at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.

He can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea, due to his previous poor record.

Contact between Essendon's Michael Hurley and Western Bulldog Adam Cooney was assessed, but the force used was found to be below that required for a reportable offence.

Johnson appeared to make slight contact to Ballantyne's midriff with a swinging right arm during Geelong's game two loss against the Dockers at Subiaco.

Johnson will have to serve the ban in the home-and-away season under a change to the tribunal system.

Johnson was walking a suspension tightrope, given he had 80 carry-over points after accepting a one-match ban for rough conduct against Sydney's Dan Hannebery in Round 23 last year.

But changes to the tribunal system mean his loading for past offences, which was 40 per cent last year, has been dissolved.

Calculations for a player's poor tribunal record now only take into account the previous two seasons, down from three.

And to qualify for a poor record, a player needs to have been suspended for two or more matches within the previous two years.

Johnson's only suspension since the start of the 2011 season was that incident with Hannebery.

His three-week suspension for his infamous tangle with Steven Baker in 2010 no longer counts against him.

-with Nick Wade from the Geelong Advertiser

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