There was widespread disbelief amongst AFL followers and commentators after West Coast star Willie Rioli’s tough conduct ban was overturned on the AFL tribunal.

Rioli is free to play towards North Melbourne and Rory Sloane will tackle Collingwood this weekend, Brisbane’s Mitch Robinson will miss the Lions’ match towards Essendon.

Rioli was dealing with a one-game ban for cannoning into Gold Coast younger gun Matt Rowell as they contested a mark.

His advocate David Grace QC used the instance of Nick Riewoldt’s iconic mark in 2004, who fearlessly ran with the flight of the ball and collided with a gaggle of gamers when he took his mark towards Sydney on the SCG.

He stated if Riewoldt had not taken the mark and collided with an opposition participant, would which have meant the Saints legend was responsible of tough conduct?

The tribunal deliberated for greater than 30 minutes earlier than deciding in Rioli’s favour.

The Eagles efficiently argued Rioli was going for the mark earlier than bracing for contact on the final second and he was cleared although they didn’t persuade the tribunal the contact to Rowell was not excessive.

“Incidents comparable to this, the place the query revolves whether or not and the way the participant is contesting the ball, usually are not simple,” Gleeson stated. “This tribunal can be astute to uphold any cost the place a participant was initially desiring to contest the ball, however modified that intention and in doing so, breached his responsibility of care.

“That isn’t this case.”

Herald-Solar chief soccer author Mark Robinson urged the AFL to enchantment the tribunal’s choice. “I’m staggered by the choice,” Robinson informed Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas stated he was initially “shocked” Rioli was handed a ban earlier within the week and took to Twitter to say the tribunal had made the best choice.

“Appropriate consequence. Sanity prevails. Fascinating the vastly differing opinions however that’s why we love the sport. It’s only a view that’s all.”

Langford hamstrung for 8-10 weeks

Essendon’s opening-round thumping has been compounded by affirmation utility Kyle Langford will miss between eight and 10 weeks with a hamstring harm.

Langford suffered the harm when main for a mark within the first quarter of Saturday’s 66-point loss to Geelong.

The versatile ahead/midfielder has change into a key participant over 99 video games however an harm to the identical hamstring that noticed him miss Essendon’s 2021 finals tilt may doubtlessly require surgical procedure.

“Sadly for Kyle, the pressure is on the identical aspect as his earlier harm and subsequently we are going to take a conservative strategy along with his rehabilitation,” Essendon soccer boss Josh Mahoney stated.

“Kyle is prone to be sidelined for roughly eight to 10 weeks, however we are going to seek the advice of with a surgeon within the coming week to evaluate all choices for restoration.

“We’re dissatisfied for Kyle who had accomplished a powerful pre-season however we look ahead to welcoming him again to the fold mid-season.”

In the meantime Essendon stated small ahead Will Snelling could be sidelined for “a couple of” weeks with a calf pressure suffered within the lead-up to spherical one.

Harrison Jones remains to be sidelined however Essendon count on to get much-needed reinforcements in assault towards Brisbane on Sunday.

The Bombers ought to welcome again star ahead Jake Stringer, who missed spherical one however is not on the membership’s harm record. Aaron Francis (knee) can also be in rivalry after getting via a VFL follow match.

By 24H

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