Rioli strikes out at tribunal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rioli strikes out at tribunal

By Adam Cooper 17/06/2003 09:55:38 PM Comments (0)

Dean Rioli's horror 2002 run at the AFL tribunal again haunted him when the Essendon star was suspended for three games despite pleading guilty to striking.

Rioli admitted raising his right arm behind the play and making high contact on Kangaroo Adam Simpson at Telstra Dome last Friday night.

But despite Rioli's plea, an apology and an admission from Simpson he partly brought the contact on himself, the tribunal ruled Rioli had acted recklessly and had made forceful contact.

Rioli's suspension was his third in just over a season, having been outed for three games for eye-gouging and one game for head butting last year and fined $1,200 for a melee involvement.

It was also a major blow for Essendon, which is in 11th position with five wins and on the verge of missing the finals for the first time since 1997.

Hawthorn received mixed news, with Lance Picioane suspended for two games for striking Collingwood's Ryan Lonie but youngster Sam Mitchell cleared of kneeing Magpie Paul Licuria.

In other cases, Fremantle's Matthew Carr and Geelong's Cameron Mooney were both suspended for two games after they were found guilty of striking in last Saturday night's game at Subiaco.

Rioli was cited on a video charge for running at Simpson behind the play, but the Kangaroo conceded he brought the contact on himself when he ran to put a block between his teammate Shannon Grant and Rioli.

Rioli said he was surprised to see Simpson emerge and raised an arm to protect himself.

But he conceded he was careless and made contact to the back of Simpson's neck, and sought out the Roo after the next goal to apologise.

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