Demons will accept Kennedy decision - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons will accept Kennedy decision

By Roger Vaughan 15/03/2010 09:39:46 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne have described the AFL match review panel's controversial decision not to charge Josh Kennedy as a precedent for the coming season.

Demons football manager Chris Connolly said the club would accept the panel's decision on the incident that left their midfielder Colin Sylvia with a broken jaw.

Sylvia was chasing Chris Masten in Saturday's practice match at Casey Fields when Kennedy laid the shepherd that broke the Demon's jaw, putting him out of action for a month.

"Firstly, Melbourne will accept the umpire's decision," Connolly told 3AW.

"There's no doubt there is some greyness in and around the interpretation of this rule, so it was going to be an interesting test case.

"Our understanding going into the season is that the head is sacrosanct and if you make contact (to) the head, even if there is greyness around the reason, that you wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt.

"On this occasion, young Kennedy has got the benefit of the doubt and that will set a precedent for the rest of the season."

The panel ruled that the contact was not unreasonable in the circumstances.

"The panel determined that Kennedy could not contest the ball and was not able to tackle the Melbourne player, as he did not have the ball," the AFL said in a statement.

"Sylvia was actively involved in the play, he would have reasonably been expected to influence the contest and the force of the bump was not excessive for that situation.

"Kennedy did not run far to apply the bump, an elbow was not part of the contact and Kennedy did not leave the ground to deliver the bump.

"Sylvia was not in a vulnerable position and could reasonably expect contact to be made."

The panel also cleared Brisbane forward Amon Buchanan of a match-day report, for making front-on contact with Hawthorn's Xavier Ellis.

Carlton's Aaron Joseph and Western Bulldogs veteran Nathan Eagleton can accept reprimands for their charges.

The panel handed Joseph a level-two charge for striking Adelaide opponent Jared Petrenko.

Eagleton was charged with attempting to trip St Kilda utility Farren Ray during the NAB Cup final.

But Eagleton will probably miss round one after suffering a hamstring strain in the final.

Richmond defender Jake King is already booked to face the tribunal on Tuesday night for striking Collingwood's Travis Cloke two weekends ago in a practice match.

King is risking a three-match ban by going to the tribunal.

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