Lade gets AFL green light - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lade gets AFL green light

By Chris Lines 16/09/2003 08:46:56 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide ruckman Brendan Lade will play in this weekend's AFL preliminary final against Collingwood after being cleared by the tribunal of rough play against Essendon captain James Hird.

In Tuesday night's other case, Essendon's Dean Rioli was also cleared of striking Port's Gavin Wanganeen.

Lade's not guilty finding was a relief for the Power - which had long-injured captain Matthew Primus on standby - with football manager Mick Moylan saying the club was "very grateful" for the decision.

However Moylan was disturbed by the process that led to Lade's citing after television commentary immediately condemned the Power ruckman's actions.

"I don't think it helps the image of the game to be honest, because a lot of speculation goes on," Moylan said.

"We were pretty confident - Brendan is a fair player and his record shows that all his career."

Lade ran 40-50 metres and jumped into Hird with knees raised at a ball-up, saying he did not try to tap the ball because he noticed at the last second that teammate Chad Cornes would tap it.

Lade admitted his eyes were on Hird rather than the ball, but argued that was common and he was simply following orders.

Port ruck coach David Pittman said team orders were for "a great degree of physical contact" by ruckman, but said this clash was not excessive, arguing "if Brendan wanted he certainly could have broken ribs".

"Against a non-ruckman I like to make body contact...I like to make it early and then hit the ball," Lade said.

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