Three wins for players at AFL tribunal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Three wins for players at AFL tribunal

By Guy Hand 11/07/2006 09:39:25 PM Comments (0)

West Coast's Daniel Kerr and Port Adelaide pair Stuart Dew and Michael Wilson all had major wins rolling the dice with the AFL Tribunal.

Kerr and Dew successfully had striking charges downgraded from two-match bans to one, while Wilson's rough conduct charge was thrown out completely.

The tribunal appeared to be in a benevolent mood, with Kerr's downgrade particularly surprising most onlookers.

Kerr, runner-up in last year's Brownlow Medal count, pleaded guilty to striking Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell last weekend in an incident in which the Hawks' midfielder was left wincing on the ground after being hit in the groin.

Kerr argued his conduct in striking Mitchell was not intentional as he had attempted to lightly "tap" the Hawks player in his right quadriceps - but missed.

"I was involved in a contest before the stoppage and I saw Sam get up limping with something wrong with his right quad," Kerr told the tribunal.

"To agitate him a bit - to get under his skin - I wanted to give him a bit of a tap in the region (quadriceps) but I mis-aimed my tap and hit him in the groin."

That wasn't intention enough for the three-man panel of ex-players Emmett Dunne, Wayne Schimmelbusch and Stewart Loewe, which found Kerr's conduct reckless rather than intentional and reduced his demerit points.

His early guilty plea also earned him a 25 per cent discount on the remaining points, so instead of a two-match ban, Kerr will now only miss the Eagles' grand final re-match with Sydney at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night.

Location was also pivotal in Dew reducing his ban, after he had pleaded guilty to striking Richmond's Dean Polo.

The Port utility argued he had struck Polo in play rather than behind play, and the tribunal agreed - a similar decision to that which freed Sydney's Barry Hall to take part in last year's grand final.

The resulting points reduction, as well as the 25 per cent early guilty plea discount, cut Dew's suspension to one match.

Port also had success with Wilson, who was only facing a reprimand on his charge of rough conduct against Richmond's Chris Hyde.

But his advocate Mark Griffin successfully argued the contact with Hyde was not high and therefore did not constitute rough conduct.

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