Hawks ruckman beats rough conduct charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks ruckman beats rough conduct charge

05/05/2009 07:23:29 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn proved there is still a place for the bump in football as ruckman Simon Taylor won his challenge against a rough conduct charge at the AFL tribunal.

Taylor was on Tuesday night found not guilty of engaging in rough play against Carlton's Setanta O'hAilpin at the MCG last Saturday despite flooring the Irishman with a solid bump 15 metres off the ball.

Taylor risked being suspended for three games had he lost his challenge given his poor recent record, but can now play Essendon on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

While the video evidence initially looked damning given Taylor applied a bump O'hAilpin never saw coming, the Hawks successfully argued the contact was part of a block designed to prevent the Blue from taking part in the contest.

AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson said Taylor had shown excessive force towards a player not directly involved in the play, as O'hAilpin was only jogging while watching teammate Heath Scotland carry the ball through the centre.

But player advocate Chris Townshend said "roughness" should not be determined by the category of force, given Taylor applied his bump with his arm tucked in and his body low.

Townshend urged the tribunal to consider that while O'hAilpin was unlikely to receive the ball in that passage of play, there was a still a place for the bump to block opponents in the modern game.

Heavy bumps have landed several players in trouble in recent years, but the fact Taylor's contact was to O'hAilpin's body worked in his favour.

Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said the reigning premiers wanted to contest the charge because bumping to block or impede opponents was a regular occurrence in games.

"We wanted to run the case in this one because we felt there are a lot of blocks in the game and that this was just an ordinary part of a player blocking another player and not using excessive force, and the tribunal saw it that way too," he said.

Taylor, who faced being suspended for the second time this season after he was outed for two games for kneeing Geelong's Joel Selwood in the face in round one, said he was confident in his innocence.

His case was the only one heard at the tribunal Tuesday night.

Collingwood forward John Anthony will miss Monday night's game against St Kilda after he accepted a one-game suspension for headbutting North Melbourne's Scott Thompson in the groin at Etihad Stadium last Friday night.

North's Scott McMahon accepted a reprimand for striking Anthony, but can play Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

Hawthorn's Lance Franklin will be docked $1,950 for negligently making contact with an umpire.

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