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Powell-Pepper to miss start of premiership season for 'careless' scratch match bump

Jarred Cross -

Port enforcer Sam Powell-Pepper is set to spend the start of the AFL season on the sidelines after his bump on Crow Mark Keane early in Friday's scratch-match between the two South Australian side's was referred straight to the tribunal.

Powell-Pepper collided high with a swinging Keane already being tackled by Willie Rioli in the first quarter of the game.

Keane was left concussed in the incident.

On Monday, the Match Review Officer graded the hit careless, severe impact and high contact with a three-match ban recommended.

Any sanction of at least three weeks is referred directly to the tribunal, with the Power now able to plead their case but with the possibility of a lengthier absence from the start of the year possible.

Despite the match not being officially sanctioned by the AFL, the result of the verdict carries over to the premiership season.

It's unclear whether Powell-Pepper will feature in his club's Community Series pre-season game against Fremantle on Friday with discretion now on the league, according to reports.

Following Friday's game Port assistant coach Chad Cornes said "We know the way Pepp plays; he's hard and tough" but that "(you) hate to see" those kinds of collisions with the club specifically addressing tactics for similar circumstances of contested play during training.

At the AFL captain's day on Monday, recently appointed Power skipper Conor Rozee said his teammate felt "rattled" after the game.

Speaking to Channel 7 on Monday, Powell-Pepper, a new Port leadership group member himself, said the result of his decision to bump didn't sit comfortably.

"Obviously it wasn't a good hit..the first thing I did was flick Mark a message after the game," he said.

"It is never my intention to concuss anyone or hit anyone high. I think I play a tough, fair game and obviously got that one wrong."

More to come.

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