Brownlow favourite Neale avoids charge

Brisbane ball magnet Lachie Neale’s Brownlow Medal charge is alive and well after he avoided a charge for a tackle on Sydney’s Nick Blakey.

Midfielder Neale’s lunging tackle on Blakey in the third quarter of Sunday’s game raised eyebrows but on Monday the match review officer cleared Neale of rough conduct.

Three other charges were laid though with Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith (rough conduct), Adelaide small forward Shane McAdam (striking) and Hawthorn’s Blake Hardwick (strike) all able to escape with fines with early guilty pleas.

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