Cousins' Brownlow dream dies with ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins' Brownlow dream dies with ban

By Roger Vaughan 01/04/2003 09:14:55 PM Comments (0)

West Coast captain Ben Cousins is out of contention for the Brownlow Medal after the AFL tribunal gave him a one-match ban for striking.

Cousins, who appeared from Perth via a video link, was visibly distressed after receiving the penalty but did not comment.

It is understood West Coast will not appeal the decision against the top onballer, who was an early-season favourite for the Brownlow.

Field umpire Hayden Kennedy, emergency umpire Mark Fussell and boundary umpire George Pampacos reported Cousins and all testified the Eagle made contact with Hardwick's face.

But Cousins and Hardwick testified the West Coast player never hit the Power defender anywhere other than the chest.

Tribunal chairman Brian Collis QC said the three-person panel said the incident could be "probably, aptly described as a forceful blow to the head" and described it as "a reckless act".

Cousins was saved a tougher suspension because of his outstanding playing record, with tonight the first time he had been found guilty of striking.

Also tonight, Port Adelaide utility Peter Burgoyne was handed a two-match ban for charging West Coast full-forward Troy Wilson.

Collingwood forward Brodie Holland was banned for one match after pleading guilty to striking Richmond ruckman Greg Stafford.

But Richmond midfielder Mark Coughlan was cleared of charging Collingwood onballer Andrew Williams.

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