NORTH Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell is free to lead his team out to battle against Greater Western Sydney at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Saturday afternoon after successfully challenging his one-game suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
Ziebell was charged with kneeing Reece Conca during the opening term of North’s 10-point loss to Richmond at Etihad Stadium last Sunday, with Match Review Officer Michael Christian offering him a one-match ban after assessing his action as intentional with low impact and high contact.
Christian said there was no place for ‘kneeing in our game’.
“It’s more about the weight and force of the blow,” said Christian.
“I believe there was intent to drop the left knee into his head, and certainly the force of the blow was amplified by the fact his right lef was off the ground, which meant the full bodyweight of Jack was into Reece Conca.”
“Looking at all the full vision, that is our ruling, that it is intentional.”
Ziebell fought the charge on two fronts, saying firstly that his act had not been intentional nor careless, but accidental and that it had not been of sufficient force to constitute a reportable offence.
After coming to the conclusion that the force of Ziebell’s conduct was insufficient to be graded low, they did not have to give consideration to whether it was intentional or careless.
Earlier, Ziebell told the tribunal that the incident occurred after Conca had tackled him while he was in possession of the ball.
Ziebell said he lifted the Tiger while both maintained a grip on the ball and was trying to knock it out of Conca’s hands.
The North veteran said Conca then swayed slightly to the right, knocking him off balance.
“I had nowhere to go,” said Ziebell.
Richmond medical report by club doctor Greg Hickey stated that Conca had not sustained any injury in the incident and didn’t require any treatment.