Sport Young Tiger's ban upheld by AFL Tribunal

15:57  17 april  2018
15:57  17 april  2018 Source:   MSN

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Young Richmond star Jack Graham will miss the Anzac Day eve clash with Melbourne at the MCG after the AFL Tribunal upheld his one-game ban.

AFL match review officer Michael Christian offered Graham the suspension for striking Brisbane's Dayne Zorko in the third quarter of the Tigers' 93-point win at the MCG.

The incident was classified as intentional conduct with low impact to the head.

During an hour-long hearing on Tuesday night, Richmond legal representative Sam Tovey argued the contact should be assessed as careless conduct, which would have resulted in a fine.

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But the jury of Jason Johnson, Richard Loveridge and Wayne Henwood took just six minutes to dismiss the challenge.

"Yes (I'm disappointed), but we accept the decision and we move on," Graham said as he left the hearing.

The AFL Tribunal has upheld Richmond youngster Jack Graham's one-game suspension. © Quinn Rooney/Getty Images The AFL Tribunal has upheld Richmond youngster Jack Graham's one-game suspension. The Tigers brought out the big guns in their efforts to clear Graham, with Damien Hardwick on hand to give evidence.

The premiership coach was cross-examined about Graham's role and what his expectations were of the player in the situation in question.

The 20-year-old is the No.1 pressure player at the club and the jury heard he was absolutely expected to make physical contact with Zorko following a turnover.

Graham also spoke in his own defence, asserting that initial contact was made with Zorko's upper arm and slipped high due to the wet conditions.

He also contended that his only intention was to apply pressure on Zorko and cause an errant kick.

But in a telling exchange with Jeff Gleeson QC for the AFL, Graham agreed Zorko had already kicked the ball when contact was made.

The Tigers didn't risk losing the midfielder to a longer ban with an unsuccessful Tribunal visit, but the verdict did cost them a $10,000 fine that comes out of the club's soft cap.

It also makes the premiership player with just nine AFL appearances to his name ineligible for the AFL's Rising Star award.

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