Hawthorn plays it safe with Buddy

AFL: Lance Franklin will miss Hawthorn's qualifying final against Sydney at the MCG on Friday night, but return for the club's second final - either a cut-throat semi in week two or preliminary final in week three.

The superstar forward accepted a one-match ban yesterday for rough conduct during last Friday's round-23 match with the Swans. He was reported for a bump that caught Swans defender Nick Malceski in the head. Franklin risked missing two weeks if he contested the charge.

St Kilda's Leigh Montagna, accepted a one-match ban for striking Fremantle's Ryan Crowley, and Essendon's Jake Melksham was suspended for two matches for striking Richmond's Daniel Jackson.