Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has learned his AFL Match Review fate following an off-the-ball hit on West Coast defender Alex Witherden on Sunday, while six total sanctions have been imposed by Michael Christian.
Martin has escaped suspension, with the MRO deciding on a grading of intentional conduct, low impact, and body contact. He has instead been handed a $5,000 fine that can be reduced to $3,000 with an early plea.
The decision means he is free to play against Hawthorn this Saturday.
The second-quarter incident sees the Brownlow Medal winner elbow Witherden's torso approximately 40 metres away from the ball, resulting in Martin being penalised with a down-field free kick by the adjudicating umpire.
"I'm not sure the MRO is going to be very happy about that one." 😲
Is Dusty in trouble for this?
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) July 16, 2023
Interim Tigers coach Andrew McQualter was questioned about the incident during his post-game press conference following his side's 38-point win at Optus Stadium, noting in his response that he hadn't seen the strike at the time.
"I didn't see it, I know it happened. We don't want any of those actions to cost us off the ball," McQualter said.
"Ultimately it hurts the team, but Dustin knows that. He would've known straight away.
"I'm not sure there's too much further in it, is there? Doesn't seem to be. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again, it cost the team."
Richmond, which now sits just two points away from sixth on the ladder, will face the Hawks at the MCG on Saturday afternoon before returning to the same venue the week after for an enticing contest against Melbourne.
Martin firms as a key piece in the Tigers' September hopes, with McQualter lauding the club great's form over recent weeks.
"I think Dustin is putting together a pretty impressive season," the Tigers coach said.
"Just the numbers he's able to consistently produce, but also the way he impacts games in different ways which is probably hard to justify at times.
"He really controls the tone of our defence, which might sound surprising to some, but [with] the energy he gives us, I think he's in a great patch of form. A hungry player that's always looking to get better."
Tigers utility Marlion Pickett was also fined for rough conduct.
Meanwhile, from the North Melbourne-Hawthorn game, the MRO handed down four fines, with Tarryn Thomas, Jai Newcombe, and Tristan Xerri each sanctioned for striking, while Luke Davies-Uniacke was also fined for careless conduct with an umpire.
There were no suspensions imposed from either of Sunday's contests.