Jolly appeal worth the punt: Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jolly appeal worth the punt: Roos

By Adam Cooper and Philip Henderson 28/04/2005 06:33:39 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos is confident his club can maintain its outstanding recent record at the AFL tribunal by getting ruckman Darren Jolly off a two-game suspension for kneeing on appeal.

Sydney's appeal of Jolly's suspension for kneeing former Melbourne team-mate Simon Godfrey will be heard on Friday morning and much of the Swans' planning for Saturday night's tough assignment against unbeaten West Coast will depend on the result.

Sydney, which has not had a player suspended since Mark Powell was banned for one game for striking in the 2003 pre-season, appealed against the Jolly verdict on the grounds there was an error in law, that the tribunal's decision was unreasonable and that both the offence and sanction were manifestly excessive.

While Sydney's challenge keeps alive its hopes of having a recognised ruckman against the ladder-leaders - big men Jason Ball and Stephen Doyle are injured - the appeal was another blow to the AFL's revamped tribunal system.

The league changed the tribunal to an NRL-style judiciary for this season with set penalties and early plea options in the hope of reducing the number of cases that go before the tribunal jury.

But five rounds into the season proper, four clubs have felt aggrieved enough with decisions to challenge the verdicts on appeal.

Only 13 appeals were heard throughout 2004.

Already this year Port Adelaide has appealed against Byron Pickett's six-game suspension for rough play and lost, the Western Bulldogs have had Rohan Smith's three-game suspension for striking cut to one game and Carlton has failed in its attempt to have Heath Scotland cleared of misconduct for putting his hand in an opponent's face.

Jolly insisted on Wednesday his knee did not make contact with Godfrey as he jumped for a ball at the SCG last Saturday night, but instead he made slight contact to the Demon's midriff with his shin.

Video footage seemed to back up his claim as it failed to definitively show any knee contact, while Jolly also argued he made every attempt to avoid contact despite the assertion it was deliberate.

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