It was a busy night at the AFL Tribunal with both West Coast midfielder Tim Kelly and Carlton captain Patrick Cripps appealing their suspensions. In the end, neither case was successful with both players having their respective charges upheld.
First up was Tim Kelly, who will miss the RAC Derby this weekend after his charge of careless conduct with medium impact and high contact was upheld from a tackle on Adelaide’s Sam Berry in the clash against the Crows on Sunday.
Kelly’s team argued that the tackle should have been graded low impact instead of medium with his counsel making the argument that Berry was able to get up to take the free kick and played out the match.
During questioning, Kelly said that his intention was to attempt to prevent Berry from successfully disposing of the ball.
“I know he’s doing everything he can to get his foot to the ball and I’m just trying my best to not allow him to make that kick,” Kelly said.
“I was trying my best to complete the tackle and not allow my opponent to dispose of the ball.”
Opposing counsel argued that the AFL guidelines state that the incident is graded on the potential cause of injury, not the result.Embed from Getty Images
After 15 minutes of deliberation, the tribunal reached the verdict to uphold the charges with chairman Jeff Gleeson making the point that despite there being no injury to Berry that the tackle had a considerable amount of force.
“Berry was not injured but his head hit the ground with considerable force,” tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said.
“We find the impact was medium, according to the charge and the ban stands.”
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Patrick Cripps will miss the remainder of the home and away season after his two-game suspension for his collision with Brisbane’s Callum Ah Chee was upheld.
With finals on the line for the Blues, it could potentially rule out the captain for the remainder of the season.
The medical report from Brisbane stated that Ah Chee was treated for concussion and will miss the next one to two matches.
Cripps stated that his prime focus was on the ball and to protect the drop zone, opting to take a chest mark. Cripps’s team raised the point that the collision was two players going for the ball in an ariel contest.
The opposing counsel suggested that Cripps could have competed differently than taking the chest mark. Instead opting for a ruck-type tap or taking the mark on full extension.
While the incident of Willie Rioli against Gold Coast player Matt Rowell from Round One, it was conceded that Rioli had no other option but to mark and couldn’t see the player.
After a 45-minute deliberation, the tribunal handed down its decision with Gleeson stating that Cripps’ actions were unreasonable in the way he approached the contest.
“He entered the contest at speed and saw a player in his peripheral vision, left his feet and bumped Ah Chee at high speed,” he said.
“He should have contested the ball differently. He could have taken the ball with arms outstretched so there was no act of bumping at all.”
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