King to miss season opener - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

King to miss season opener

By Sam Lienert 16/03/2010 08:20:01 PM Comments (0)

Richmond utility Jake King will miss the AFL season-opener against Carlton through suspension despite a successful visit to the tribunal.

King had a charge of striking Collingwood's Travis Cloke downgraded from intentional to reckless on Tuesday night.

It meant he was banned for one game, rather than the two matches he would have missed had he pleaded guilty to the original charge.

He risked a three-game sanction had his tribunal gamble failed.

But the jury accepted his story that the contact which left Cloke with a black eye happened accidentally as the feisty Tiger was swinging his arms in an effort to push off Cloke and Magpies teammate Brent Macaffer, who had him pinned to the ground.

The incident occurred late in a Princes Park practice match on March 5.

"I was bracing myself and throwing my arms around to push the hands out of my face," King said.

"If contact was made, which obviously it was, it was accidental."

Video footage was inconclusive, but the report was laid after Cloke complained to emergency umpire Damian Anderson immediately after the incident, prompting an AFL investigation.

Anderson gave evidence that Cloke had told him: "King hit me".

Cloke also appeared as a witness, after being called by the AFL, and acknowledged that contact was made to his face by King, but said he doubted it was intentional.

"I don't think he looked at me and said 'That's Travis, I'll give him one'" Cloke said.

"There were arms going everywhere and I just had my face in the wrong place at the wrong time."

King was hurt by his prior record, having been banned for two games for striking Collingwood's Alan Didak in round 20 last season.

He could have escaped with a reprimand, if not for a 20 per cent penalty loading and carryover points for that offence.

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