Australia

‘It starts off as a terrific tackle’: AFL tribunal overturns Sun’s controversial suspension

Gold Coast utility Nick Holman has succeeded in overturning a two-game AFL suspension for a rundown tackle that saw him win a free kick.

Holman was suspended by match review officer Michael Christian for a dangerous tackle on Geelong star Mitch Duncan, but the charge was dismissed at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night.

Duncan was carrying the ball on the wing late in the second quarter during Saturday’s game at Kardinia Park when Holman tackled him from behind.

Holman won a free kick for the tackle, with the umpire deeming Duncan was caught holding the ball.

But Duncan was immediately subbed out of the match due to concussion and it is not clear when he will return to training.

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AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson argued players needed to be protected from head injuries, and Holman could have done more to care for Duncan.

“Most dangerous tackles don’t start out as dangerous tackles but something happens in course of the tackle that renders [it] dangerous,” he told the tribunal.

“It starts off as a terrific tackle. Holman tries to and succeeds in pinning the right arm of Duncan but you can assume he knows he’s got the arm pinned.”

Suns advocate Stephen Russell argued it was simply not a dangerous tackle and the injury to Duncan was unfortunate.

Mitch Duncan was subbed out of the game with a concussion.(

AAP: Rob Prezioso

)

“There would need to be clear identification of something Holman did that another reasonable player did in the same circumstances would not have done,” Russell said.

AFL tribunal chairman Ross Howie directed the jury to disregard the publicity around the verdict and focus on the evidence at hand.

Meanwhile, Richmond’s Marlion Pickett will serve his one-game suspension after failing to get his striking charge downgraded.

Pickett pleaded guilty to the striking charge but was after a low-grade impact instead of medium at the AFL tribunal.

Pickett will miss Richmond’s game against Adelaide at the MCG on Sunday.

Earlier, Carlton defender Lachie Plowman failed to overturn a two-game suspension for concussing Hawthorn star Jaeger O’Meara.

AAP


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