West Coast's Rioli, Vardy accept AFL bans

The AFL tribunal will not sit on Tuesday night after West Coast duo Willie Rioli and Nathan Vardy accepted one-game suspensions.

WILLIE RIOLI of the Eagles slaps the ball clear during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Rushton Park in Perth, Australia.
WILLIE RIOLI of the Eagles slaps the ball clear during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Rushton Park in Perth, Australia. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

West Coast will be without premiership duo Willie Rioli and Nathan Vardy for their round 14 clash with Essendon after both accepted one-game AFL suspensions.

The tribunal will not sit on Tuesday night after all players charged in round 12 accepted their sanctions.

Rioli's tackle that knocked out Sydney opponent Colin O'Riordan was ruled as dangerous, while Vardy was also charged with rough conduct against Jackson Thurlow after his high bump put the Swans defender out of the game.

Gold Coast pair Jack Martin and Will Powell, Adelaide's Paul Seedsman and North Melbourne's Cameron Zurhaar all accepted fines.

The loss of Rioli, in particular, is a big blow for the Eagles who were humbled by the Swans in a 45-point boilover at the SCG.

The premiers have their mid-season bye this week before they host the Bombers in a Thursday night clash at Optus Stadium.

In better news for the fourth-placed Eagles, skipper Shannon Hurn (hamstring) and reigning best and fairest Elliot Yeo (calf) should be available for that game.

The out-of-form Vardy's absence could pave the way for young tall Oscar Allen to reclaim his place.

Talismanic ruckman Nic Naitanui is also closing in on a long-awaited comeback after undergoing his second knee reconstruction in as many years.

Naitanui is a good chance to play in the WAFL next weekend before making his senior return either against Hawthorn at the MCG or in the round 16 derby against Fremantle.

Key defender Tom Barrass appears likely to return from his foot injury next month.


AAP