Koschitzke's tribunal charge dropped - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Koschitzke's tribunal charge dropped

15/09/2008 07:15:11 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda key forward Justin Koschitzke is free to play in Saturday's AFL preliminary final against Hawthorn after he had a rough conduct charge dropped by the match review panel.

In a major boost to St Kilda's premiership aspirations, Koschitzke can take his place in the forward line after the panel threw out the match report, laid after the big Saint slung Collingwood's Shane Wakelin to the ground in a tackle in last Saturday night's semi-final.

Koschitzke faced a suspension if he was charged and found guilty because of a previous poor disciplinary record, which included being suspended for one game for striking Hawthorn's Michael Osborne in round 16.

But the panel ruled Koschitzke's action was not unreasonable, as his second-quarter tackle on Wakelin was all the one motion.

"The player (Koschitzke) would not have been aware the ball was out of bounds, nor that Wakelin had disposed of the ball during the tackle," the panel said.

Koschitzke booted three goals in the win over the Magpies and is needed if the Saints are to climb from their underdog status to topple the Hawks.

Sydney defender Leo Barry also had a charge of striking Western Bulldogs forward Shaun Higgins in last Friday night's game dropped.

The panel ruled Barry used an open hand in an attempt to intercept a handball from Higgins, rather than to strike him.

Incidents involving Bulldogs pair Ryan Hargrave and Scott Welsh were also examined, before the panel decided there was no wrongdoing.

The decisions mean there will be no tribunal hearing this week.

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