Tom Bugg faces a lengthy AFL suspension after an ugly hit on Sydney’s Callum Mills in Friday night’s match at the MCG.
The Melbourne midfielder was reported for knocking out Mills with a nasty left hook to the chin behind the play in the opening minutes of the match.
Mills was concussed and played no further part in the contest, as the Swans went on to claim a 35-point win.
Bugg is likely to be referred directly to the tribunal and he faces a lengthy ban after a week where the fallout from Bachar Houli’s hit on Jed Lamb dominated the headlines.
The 24-year-old insisted he had not intended to hurt Mills, but the incident left the Swans less than impressed.
“It was a pretty dog act,” Swans forward Tom Papley said.
“That’s not how we go about it, it’s not what the league’s about. If you want to be tough, you be tough at the contest, not 80 metres off the ball.
“He’ll have to deal with it. He’ll cop his whack and we move on.”
Bugg is believed to have apologised to Mills after the match, and later said he would cop whatever consequences came his way.
“I saw the footage and it does look really bad,” Bugg told the Seven Network.
“I’m a bit embarrassed. It looks really bad but my genuine intent was not to hurt Callum.
“It was disappointing he couldn’t take part in the rest of the game and going forward I hope he’s OK.”
Melbourne stars Jesse Hogan and Jordan Lewis both received suspensions for behind-play incidents earlier in the year, but coach Simon Goodwin denied the Demons had a discipline problem.
“It’s not what we want to stand for as a footy club,” he said.
“Our boys are certainly up for playing a physical brand of footy but we’ve got to learn to play within the rules.”
There is a strong likelihood the Mills incident will be classed as intentional conduct with high impact to the head, similar to the grading given to Richmond defender Houli’s hit on Carlton forward Lamb.
The AFL appeals board this week doubled an initial two-week suspension handed to Houli by the tribunal.