Port fuming over Pickett's AFL ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port fuming over Pickett's AFL ban

By Guy Hand 09/08/2005 08:22:55 PM Comments (0)

Angry Port Adelaide has described the AFL Tribunal's decision to ban hardman Byron Pickett for two matches as having "serious implications for the game".

Port will consider appealing the tribunal's decision to find Pickett guilty of rough conduct against Carlton's Simon Wiggins - the one-match ban offered by the AFL match review panel blowing out to two games as a result.

Pickett's advocate Paul Ehrlich had argued that Pickett's tough guy reputation had made him a marked man by umpires and that there was no basis to field umpire Jason Quigley's report at all.

But the jury of former players Stewart Loewe, Wayne Schimmelbusch and Michael Sexton were having none of it, finding Pickett guilty even after jury chairman David Jones directed them to specifically ignore the player's chequered tribunal past.

Port football manager Peter Rohde was visibly angry at the decision as he left the hearing in Melbourne, clearly believing that Pickett's reputation had played a part in his fate.

"We're bitterly disappointed at the outcome. I don't know what more we could have done - it has serious implications for our game," Rohde said.

When asked what those implications were, Rohde declined to elaborate, saying: "I can't really say any more", before departing the building.

Pickett's past certainly did him no favours under the points system, with carryover points from his six-week suspension earlier this season coming back to tip him over the two-match limit.

Pickett gave evidence via videolink from Adelaide, arguing he had tried to protect himself by turning his body when he knew contact with Wiggins was inevitable.

His penalty is sure to provoke more debate on the merits or otherwise of the AFL's judicial system, with many observers believing Pickett was unlucky not to beat the charge.

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