Willie Rioli in the clear over AFL tackle
Justin Chadwick |
Star West Coast forward Willie Rioli has avoided a second straight week of tribunal dramas after he was cleared of any wrongdoing for a tackle that concussed an opponent.
North Melbourne star Luke Davies-Uniacke was left dazed and groggy after being run down from behind by Rioli in Sunday’s AFL clash at Marvel Stadium.
Davies-Uniacke’s arms were pinned in the tackle, with the momentum of both players resulting in the midfielder’s head being driven into the turf.
But the match review panel deemed Rioli’s actions weren’t unreasonable, and that no further action was necessary.
The decision would be a huge relief to Rioli, who had to front the AFL Tribunal last week to overturn the one-match ban he was handed for his mid-air collision with Gold Coast midfielder Matt Rowell.
It means Rioli, who booted four goals against the Kangaroos, is free to play in Sunday’s western derby against Fremantle.
“While Davies-Uniacke is in possession of the football, Rioli runs from behind and applies a tackle – in one motion – on Davies-Uniacke which carries both players forward,” the match review panel statement said.
“The momentum of the tackle results in Davies-Uniacke’s knees and then head making contact with the playing surface.
“It was the view of the Match Review Officer that Rioli’s actions were not unreasonable in the circumstances.”
Fremantle’s Blake Acres was cleared for his hit on St Kilda forward Max King.
Acres collected King high in the first quarter while the key forward was bent over trying to collect a loose ball.
King was able to play out the game, and ended up being the match-winner with four goals.
West Coast’s Patrick Naish was offered a $2000 fine for striking North Melbourne’s Jason Horne-Francis.AAP