Franklin, Vlastuin facing AFL suspensions

Michael Ramsey
Despite the AFL's striking crackdown, Swans forward Lance Franklin has escaped with a fine

Sydney superstar Lance Franklin faces a likely suspension when AFL match review officer Michael Christian runs the rule over the Swans' fiery top-two showdown with Richmond.

Franklin is one of several players set to come under scrutiny after he struck Alex Rance in the throat during Richmond's 26-point victory at Etihad Stadium on Thursday night.

A clearly-aggravated Franklin appeared to be provoked by Rance pressing his elbow into the Swans' throat while pinning him in a tackle.

But it is hard to see Franklin avoiding suspension when Christian delivers his findings on Friday given the AFL's crackdown on striking.

Sydney coach John Longmire isn't concerned by the incident but former Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling suspects Franklin is in trouble.

"In the throat, is that considered high impact? If it is, it might tip him into the one-week category," Ling told the Seven Network.

Richmond backman Nick Vlastuin is a virtual certainty to be suspended after inexplicably elbowing Luke Parker flush in the face during the third quarter.

Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin could also face scrutiny for a high bump on Dan Hannebery.

The Rance-Franklin duel had been hotly anticipated and the pair were at the heart of the action when the game was on the line.

Franklin was gifted a simple shot on goal on the three-quarter time siren when Rance gave away a blocking free kick, then encroached on the Swans forward's set shot.

'Buddy' then outmarked Rance out of the opening bounce of the final term and slotted his fourth major to cut the deficit to four points.

It proved to be the final punch the Swans landed with goals to Kane Lambert and Shane Edwards putting the Richmond victory beyond doubt.

"I thought it was terrific," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said of the Rance-Franklin battle.

"Both those two are champions of the game and to see that kind of battle on Thursday night footy, that's what you come to the footy to watch.

"I really enjoyed the battle and I think both those guys can walk away with their heads held high."