St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster cops seven-match ban at AFL tribunal for bump on Jy Simpkin

St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster has been suspended for seven matches for his ugly bump on North Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin.

Webster was sent straight to the tribunal over the high hit that left Simpkin in concussion protocols with the action graded by the match review officer as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Webster knocks out Simpkin.

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In the lead-up to the tribunal, the Saints had signalled they wouldn’t defend the charge, however, they came out with all guns blazing as the AFL pushed for an eight-match sanction.

St Kilda argued the length of such a suspension was “excessive and disproportionate in the circumstances” and used examples from the past to highlight their case.

St Kilda lawyer Adrian Anderson said a four-match penalty, which was recently handed to Port Adelaide’s Sam Powell-Pepper for a high hit, seemed to be appropriate.

Webster has copped a lengthy suspension. Credit: Getty Images

Anderson said the proposed punishment was a massive overreaction that was out of whack with the evolution of suspensions.

However, the AFL argued that the Webster’s knock was undoubtedly twice as bad as Powell-Pepper’s and deserved a ban to reflect that.

The tribunal took over an hour of deliberating before it reached its verdict.

Saints coach Ross Lyon said on Monday there was “no defence” for Webster’s actions, while football boss David Misson labelled the incident “out of character”.

Webster has also issued a statement, wishing Simpkin well in his recovery.

“I deeply regret my actions in yesterday’s game. I’ve reached out to Jy and cannot understate my remorse. My thoughts are with Jy and his family, and I hope he has a speedy and successful recovery,” he said.

“I fully recognise the importance of protecting players’ heads and in this instance, I failed to meet that much-needed standard. I will present to the Tribunal and understand there will be consequences for my actions.”

Meanwhile, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson will have to explain himself to the AFL over his “inappropriate” outburst towards Webster and Saints teammate Dougal Howard, with a sanction potentially on the cards.

Clarkson was furious after the incident and reportedly used the word “c*******er” during an expletive-laden exchange of words with Webster and Howard at quarter-time.

Clarkson has already apologised, but has been issued with a “please explain” from the AFL regarding the exchange and the alleged homophobic slur.

He could yet face a fine or other sanction and AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon took a dim view of the incident.

“Senior coaches or officials approaching players at breaks in play isn’t something that we want to see anyway,” Dillon said on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“When you overlay what’s been reported, it’s language that Alastair has already come out and said it’s inappropriate, it’s something I don’t like, and we don’t need it in our game.

“We don’t want to get ahead of the process, so what we do is provide a ‘please explain’ and give Alastair the opportunity to come back to us.

“We’ll talk to St Kilda, and once we’ve got all that information we’ll look at that and weigh it against what our rules are and then deal with it that way.”

– With AAP

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