Richmond’s Tyrone Vickery expressed relief after the AFL tribunal gave him a four-week ban for clocking Dean Cox.
Vickery’s striking charge was referred directly to the tribunal, whose members retired for six minutes on Tuesday night before agreeing on the penalty.
Both AFL legal counsel Andrew Woods and player advocate Michael Tovey QC had agreed a ban of five weeks, reduced to four with a guilty plea, was correct.
The 24-year-old pleaded guilty at the start of proceedings, while the three-man tribunal panel were given a transcript of his public apology to the iconic West Coast ruckman on Sunday.
Vickery was given a penalty of 495 demerit points, meaning 95 carryover points will be hanging over his head when the Tigers play Sydney at ANZ Stadium on August 30.
The forward will miss matches against GWS, Essendon, Adelaide and St Kilda before being available for selection in the final round of the season.
Vickery, who knocked out Cox while the veteran was watching the ball at a boundary throw-in, was happy with the result.
“I got a fair trial and a fair hearing. That (four weeks) was the conclusion and we accept it,” Vickery said.
“Very happy to now have a conclusion to it. I’m able to train hard for the next four weeks and give myself a chance to potentially play in the last round.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to potentially play again this season.”
Vickery said he was glad the incident was over and pledged to “play hard and aggressive, but not overstep the mark which is what I owe – especially to my teammates”.
Speaking on radio station 3AW, 1988 Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy suggested Vickery could consider himself “a very lucky man”.
“For mine, five weeks was the minimum, six wouldn’t have surprised,” Healy said.
Vickery joins Brian Lake in copping a four-week suspension – the sternest punishment handed out by the tribunal this season.
But as opposed to Lake’s case, when the Hawthorn defender unsuccessfully argued he was trying to grab Petrie’s guernsey and not his throat, this time it was all very agreeable at the tribunal.
Tovey made the point no bones were broken and that the incident was on the lower scale of severe impact.
But both he and Woods agreed the blow was intentional, severe impact and high contact – and Vickery was not called on to testify.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sydney’s Jeremy Laidler accepted a reprimand and 70.31 points towards his future record for striking Hawthorn’s Jack Gunston during Saturday night’s MCG clash.
West Coast’s Luke Shuey and Mark LeCras both accepted $900 fines for engaging in misconduct when they remonstrated with Vickery.