Ziebell free to play after beating kneeing charge
North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell is free to lead the Kangaroos in their clash with Greater Western Sydney in Hobart on Saturday after the AFL tribunal found his knee to the head of Richmond's Reece Conca was of insufficient force to constitute a reportable offence.
Ziebell had been handed a one-match ban on Monday by match review officer Michael Christian following the incident in the Tigers’ win over North on Sunday.
Christian had graded the incident as intentional with low impact and high contact. North disputed the classification, arguing that the contact was accidental rather than intentional, and of insufficient force. A medical report provide by Richmond doctor Greg Hickey stated that Conca had not been injured in the incident, while the Roos argued a lack of remonstration from Conca’s teammates pointed in favour of Ziebell.
"It's a good result," Ziebell said as he left the tribunal.
"Obviously I didn't do it on purpose and it wasn't intentional so I'm glad the tribunal saw that. I'm free to play this weekend which is good."
Ziebell told the tribunal he had tried to extract the ball from Conca's hands, with the Tiger not letting go. Ziebell said Conca swayed to Ziebell's right which knocked Ziebell over. Ziebell said he was unaware that he had kneed Conca in the head and was surprised when a free kick was given
North Melbourne lawyer Rob O'Neill presented an example involving Port Adelaide's Justin Westhoff and Collingwood's Taylor Adams for which Adams was suspended for two matches, with the Roos seeking to distinguish that incident from Ziebell's action.
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