MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Bruises are seen on Orazio Fantasia's arm after an incident with Ben Stratton of the Hawks during the round 13 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Marvel Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes has called for Hawthorn to consider stripping Ben Stratton of his captaincy for a week if the AFL don’t come down hard enough on the defender for his antics on Friday night.

Stratton was found to have been repeatedly pinching Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia on Friday night, with Fantasia leaving the field with multiple bruises on his arm.

Pinching is a reportable offence according to AFL rules, with Cornes imploring the AFL to charge Stratton for his behaviour.

“This incident is every bit merit as to why there should be a send-off rule,” Cornes told SEN’s Crunch Time.

“Pinching a defenceless opponent, and it wasn’t just one pinch – it was repeated pinching. You could see on his arm there’s seven or eight bruises that have been left there.

“The goal umpire was aware of it … why that wasn’t relayed to the field umpire and why there wasn’t a crackdown is staggering.

“A fine for this doesn’t cut it – it was one of the most cowardly things I’ve seen all year. This is every bit worth a week suspension.”

Cornes labelled the act as “disgraceful”, and hopes the Hawks deal with it internally as well.

“If Hawthorn are serious, is there a club sanction that needs to be handed down if the AFL don’t act on this?” Cornes said.

“A week or stripping him of the captaincy for a week is about right for this – it was one of the more cowardly things I’ve seen. I thought it was disgraceful.”

The AFL will release their MRP findings from Friday night’s match on Saturday afternoon.