Lachie Neale and George Hewett sanctioned for striking during Carlton’s win over Brisbane

Carlton midfielder George Hewett and Brisbane superstar Lachie Neale have both been sanctioned by the AFL for their exchange during Friday night’s clash at the Gabba.

Late in the third quarter of the Blues’ thrilling one-point win, Hewett struck Neale with his clenched fist appearing to catch the two-time Brownlow medallist in the chin.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Hewett and Neale exchange blows.

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Neale immediately retaliated with a body blow to Hewett.

Both players were charged with striking, but can escape with just a $2,500 fine each.

Hewett’s strike was graded as careless conduct, low impact and high contact, while Neale’s was intentional conduct, low impact and body contact.

George Hewett and Lachie Neale exchange blows. Credit: Channel 7

The AFL changed their match review guidelines this year to have the option of grading these types of incidents as “intentional”, which would result in a one-match ban.

Meanwhile, the Lions have confirmed Keidean Coleman suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the heartbreaking loss to the Blues.

Coleman was helped from the field at halftime on Friday at the Gabba after his left leg clashed with Carlton tackler Lachie Fogarty as he kicked.

The Lions had blitzed the Blues early but in the third term had eight-straight goals kicked on them in a 13.8 (86) to 12.13 (85) loss that ended a 14-game winning streak at their Gabba stronghold.

Coleman was sent for scans on Saturday which confirmed the Lions’ worst fears of a season-ending injury.

“It’s really disappointing news for Keidean, especially in the first game after a strong pre-season and an impressive finals campaign last year,” Lions football manager Danny Daly said in a statement.

“However, Kiddy (Coleman) is only young and has a very bright future ahead of him with the Brisbane Lions, which we all look forward to.

“Kiddy is an extremely positive and calm person, so I am confident those traits will no doubt help him get through his recovery over the coming months.”

Conor McKenna could return from a hamstring injury next week while Will Ashcroft won’t be back until the latter half of this season after his own ACL setback in 2023.

But Coleman’s ball use and dare out of defence will be hard to replace; the 23-year-old was dominant in the first half of last season’s grand final.

“We get disappointed for all the lads with those sorts of injuries, because we know (it’s) a long way back,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said after Friday night’s defeat.

“It’ll create an opportunity for somebody else, which will be their good fortune.”

– With AAP

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