Jack Viney Cleared from Suspension
By Dhrubajyoti Biswas | May 9, 2014 3:30 PM EST
Melbourne star Jack Viney was cleared from suspension by AFL after he was accused of bumping over Adelaide's Tom Lynch.
The AFL board members took 14 minutes to rule out on Thursday evening the case of Viney's suspension for two matches. The argument started with the accusation that Viney had bumped Tom Lynch. Later, after a strong argument, it was made clear Viney had "braced" himself for contact.
Viney is now free to play against the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
The AFL's appeal board, headed by Michael Green, Peter O'Callaghan and Brian Collis, made the final verdict after listening to the arguments and counter-arguments from Viny's advocate, David Grace QC, and Jeff Gleeson QC, the lawyer acting on behalf of NRL.
The case proceeded to answer one question - whether Viney had bumped Lynch that led to a broken jaw. David Grace was clear from the first state that Viney had not intentionally bumped Lynch but instead "braced" to save himself. The video footage shown during the proceedings helped to reach the final decision.
After the announcement of the verdict, Melbourne's manager Josh Mahoney stated the club had also moved further to appeal in support of the new bump rule.
"There's been some confusion about our argument for this week. We certainly weren't saying anything about the bump. We actually support the rule that if a player chooses to bump and he makes head high contact, there's a chance that he may be cited.
"However, our argument all along was that Jack was playing an instinctive game. He had a very limited reaction time to make a decision and it was all in protection of himself, rather than going for a bump. We were very happy with the findings and very happy with the hearing that we got."
"This was never about the bump. Our argument was that Jack had no option but to protect himself in that incident," Mahoney said.
Viney, after the verdict was happy and stated he was absolutely ready to play on Saturday. He also acknowledged that the court proceedings also helped him to understand more in-depth about the bump rules.
"Yeah, I think so ... people just putting themselves in a contested situations - it's not what you want to see going out of the game, you know. We'll just go back to normal now that it's all good. It's been a really stressful couple of days but it's a challenge, but I'm really confident I'll be able to just calm down the next couple of days and just focus really heavily on my performance," Viney said.
The news of Viney's suspension triggered an outrage among the fans and the final decision came as a breather for the 20-year-old star.
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