Geelong star Scarlett cleared - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong star Scarlett cleared

By Adam Cooper 30/03/2004 11:02:14 PM Comments (0)

Inconclusive video evidence saved star Geelong fullback Matthew Scarlett at the AFL tribunal with the Cats defender cleared of striking St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt.

Despite a 75-minute hearing in which Riewoldt told the tribunal he received a blow to the throat, the three-member tribunal gave Scarlett the benefit of the doubt as it could not decide if the Cat pushed the Saint or threw a punch.

The verdict was a big win for Geelong, which can take its All-Australian fullback into Sunday's game against Carlton to try to atone for the 61-point loss to the Saints at Telstra Dome last Saturday night.

There was no doubting the tribunal's continued crackdown on head-high contact as Melbourne's Daniel Ward was suspended for three games for unduly rough play on Hawthorn's Nick Ries.

Ward made contact with Ries' head with a bump as the Hawk midfielder fell towards the ground and the tribunal ruled the actions were reckless and had the potential to cause serious injury.

Ries was knocked unconscious in the clash and taken from the MCG on a stretcher and did not attend tonight's hearing because he had no memory of the incident.

Also, Adelaide ruckman Rhett Biglands was cleared of striking and Carlton defender Matthew Lappin was cleared of charging.

AFL investigations officer Rick Lewis argued Scarlett struck Riewoldt in the throat with a round-arm swing when the star Saint had his back to his opponent.

Riewoldt said he did not see where the contact came from, but it was sufficient for him to start dry-retching and fall to the ground because he could not breathe.

Later, the tribunal heard, Riewoldt told field umpire Gavin Dore "I hope you cite Scarlett for that".

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