Sydney player James Rowbottom and Richmond player Marlion Pickett have failed to have their one-match bans overturned at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
Rowbottom and Pickett were both looking to overturn bans for rough conduct that in both instances was graded as careless conduct with medium impact and high contact.
While both clubs put forward different arguments, the end result was the same, with Rowbottom to miss Friday night’s game against Carlton, while Pickett will miss Saturday’s Dreamtime at the G’ game against Essendon.
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The Tigers attempted to argue that the Pickett incident constituted ‘low’ impact rather than ‘medium’, saying Pickett showed good management in approaching the situation and it was because of this there was no injury to Dylan Moore.
Giving evidence, Pickett said the force he used in executing the bump on a scale from one to 10 was “three”.
The AFL pointed to the Tribunal guidelines, which cite any high bump that has the potential to cause injury will usually be graded as ‘medium’ impact.
It was good fortune rather than good management, in the AFL’s submission, that prevented Moore from sustaining an injury.
After deliberating for 20 minutes, the jury upheld the charge.
In Rowbottom’s case, the Swans attempted to argue the incident with Merrett did not constitute a bump and, if it did, it was only one of ‘low’ impact.
The Swans said there was either no contact at all to the head of Merrett or it was inconclusive.
Giving evidence, Rowbottom said he did not intend to bump Merrett and that contact was “inevitable” after the Bombers midfieler fumbled and lost possession of the ball as Rowbottom was coming in to lay a tackle.
The AFL said while Rowbottom’s bump was not side-on like a traditional bump, it was unreasonable in the circumstances and was the action of Rowbottom trying to clear a path for teammate Callum Mills to collect the ball.
There was the potential to cause serious injury, the AFL said, given the velocity with which Rowbottom approached the contest.
After deliberating for 40 minutes, Rowbottom was found to have implemented a bump and the impact remained at medium.
Recap the AFL Tribunal hearings in our blog below!