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Johnson accepts one-game ban

By Kim Hagdorn
19 February 2013 12:07PM EST

GEELONG gun Steve Johnson has accepted a one-game ban and will miss an AFL season opening blockbuster against Hawthorn.

Johnson and Cats officials advised the AFL on Tuesday morning they would not contest a two-game ban for a punch into the stomach of feisty Fremantle small forward Hayden Ballantyne in Perth last Saturday.

Johnson accepted the automatic one match ban and miss the opening AFL home-and-away engagement of the premiership season.

An unsuccessful contest at the league's tribunal would have barred the triple premiership Cat for two games.

Johnson, 29, is now expected to resume his 196-game career in Round 2 against North Melbourne on Sunday April 7 at Etihad Stadium.

Under new AFL regulations match review bans must be served in the home-and-away premiership season and not just through the NAB Cup summer series.

Johnson's total points allocation from an uncompromising match review process is 205.38 which automatically carries a two-game suspension.

A guilty plea brought Johnson's points down by 25 percent and under 200 points and just a one-match ban.

He was charged with a level two striking offence and 125 demerit points, which is an automatic one match suspension.

Johnson had 80 carry-over points from a one-match penalty that forced the classy on-baller and clever goal-shark to miss Geelong's only final last September when the Cats were ironically, bundled out of the premiership race by Fremantle in Melbourne.

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