Hodge 'did nothing wrong' in Heppell clash: Worsfold

Murray Wenzel
Hodge 'did nothing wrong' in Heppell clash: Worsfold

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell has avoided serious injury and Luke Hodge has no case to answer after the pair's awkward collision at the Gabba, according to Bombers coach John Worsfold.

Heppell was helped from the field about 10 minutes in the AFL clash's second quarter on Sunday after being stopped in his tracks by the Brisbane defender.

Hodge had fumbled while running at full pace chasing a loose ball, slamming into the oncoming Heppell.

Helped off the field with a bleeding mouth, the captain was checked by doctors and subsequently rubbed out of the game minutes later.

The visitors found enough run without their linchpin to see off the wasteful Lions 12.12 (84) to 8.14 (62) and collect their fifth win of the season before next weekend's bye.

But Worsfold doused any fears of serious injury by reporting a clean bill of health for Heppell after the game, while adding Hodge shouldn't be concerned by his actions.

"He looked alright initially but then he did show signs of concussion symptoms but he looks really good now," Worsfold said.

"From my perspective, Hep initiated the contact, came in to put pressure on and it was just a front-on contact - not sure what actually hit Hep's jaw - but I don't think Hodge did anything wrong."

Dyson Heppell. Pic: Getty

Heppell collected nine possessions and two goals and looked poised to dominate until his untimely end.

"He said, 'I think I was going pretty well, wasn't I coach'. Disappointing but that happens in the game," Worsfold said.

Brisbane scrapped well in defence and should have got within eight points in the final quarter if not for some inexcusable misses.

But, aside from his own side's wasteful ways in front of goal, Worsfold was pleased with how his men rebounded after last week's thrashing by Richmond.

"I thought overall we controlled big parts of the game but didn't really hurt them in the third quarter when we had the ball locked in our front half," he said.

"It kept the game tight for that bit longer and I was concerned about how strongly we'd match their run in the last quarter, but I thought our guys were outstanding."