Akermanis off, Biglands gets two - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Akermanis off, Biglands gets two

27/07/2004 08:19:18 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane star Jason Akermanis is free to resume his favourite rivalry against Sydney tagger Jared Crouch after being cleared of striking another stopper at the AFL tribunal Tuesday night.

Akermanis was cleared of striking Adelaide's Martin Mattner at the Gabba last Saturday night, allowing him to find Crouch standing by his side at the SCG this Saturday night.

The 2001 Brownlow medallist, who has been critical of the way taggers try and negate star midfielders, was charged on video evidence with striking Mattner as he tried to break a tackle.

But he successfully argued he threw his right arm back expecting to make contact to Mattner's chest, although he made contact to his opponent's right ear as Mattner was on his knees at the time.

Also Tuesday night, Adelaide ruckman Rhett Biglands was suspended for two games for striking Lion Jamie Charman, while Charman and Crow Matthew Clarke were each fined $1,500 for wrestling.

Akermanis said he tried to "wriggle out of" Mattner's tackle by putting his right arm back.

"Unfortunately I didn't realise at the time ... I'd got him high, I thought I'd made contact with his chest," he told the tribunal.

"It's not that way I play footy and unfortunately accidents like that do happen."

Akermanis said he apologised to Mattner after the incident and after the game, which the Lions won by 141 points.

The tribunal ruled it had no reason to disbelieve Akermanis and freed him to play against the Swans.

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