Pies to appeal Rocca GF ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies to appeal Rocca GF ban

23/09/2003 09:27:38 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood vice-captain Anthony Rocca left the AFL tribunal a shattered man after receiving a two-match ban for striking.

The tribunal ruled his contact with Port Adelaide ruckman Brendon Lade in last Saturday's preliminary final was unnecessary and reckless.

The penalty, after a two-hour hearing, means he will be the second Magpie in as many years to miss the grand final through suspension.

Jason Cloke's appeal failed last year after he suffered a two-match ban for striking Adelaide midfielder Tyson Edwards, also in the preliminary final.

Collingwood will now appeal Rocca's penalty, probably on Wednesday night, in an effort to make the 26-year-old key forward available for Saturday's premiership decider against Brisbane at the MCG.

"We're bitterly disappointed with the outcome and we will appeal, soon," Magpies football manager Neil Balme said soon after the hearing.

Rocca briefly closed his eyes as tribunal chairman Brian Collis QC handed down the penalty and looked inconsolable as he left the hearing venue.

The hearing lasted 90 minutes, with Rocca making an impassioned plea to the three-man panel after giving his evidence not to find him guilty.

"I've played a lot of games of footy, I'm a hard, physical player," he said in his statement.

"I know I'm an example to my team-mates and I think they realise it as well.

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