Bulldog tackle ban stands at AFL tribunal

By AAP Newswire

Western Bulldogs defender Hayden Crozier will miss the round-six clash with Carlton after the AFL tribunal upheld his one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on North Melbourne's Jack Mahony.

Crozier's tackle in the final term of Saturday night's 49-point win over the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium was assessed as careless conduct with medium impact and high contact.

Mahony was dazed when his head hit the turf and jogged to the bench with blood seeping from a cut above his left eye.

But he returned to the game and didn't require ongoing medical treatment according to a North Melbourne medical report.

The Dogs pleaded not guilty to the charge at Tuesday night's web hearing, arguing Mahony had the option to protect himself with his arms free in the tackle.

But the jury of Shane Wakelin, Jason Johnson and Paul Williams found him guilty after deliberating for about 20 minutes, ruling him out of Sunday night's encounter with the Blues at Metricon Stadium.

"(The jury) regarded the actions of the player as being unreasonable in the circumstances, particularly the second of his actions in rotating the other player into the ground," tribunal chairman Ross Howie said.

"They considered that he could've executed the tackle differently rather than slinging or rotating the player into the ground.

"They regarded the degree of force as being unreasonable."

The hearing stretched to just over two hours when the jury was required to deliberate for a second time after a submission from Bulldogs legal counsel Sam Norton on the sanction.

Citing exceptional and compelling circumstances, that included Crozier's exemplary record of no suspensions over 113 AFL games and the shortened coronavirus-affected season, Norton argued for a $3,000 fine.

But the jury was unconvinced, rejecting the submission after five minutes of deliberation.