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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Rioli cleared by AFL tribunal

West Coast Eagles premiership forward Willie Rioli is free to play against North Melbourne in round two, successfully challenging his one match ban for rough conduct.

Rioli was originally handed a one game suspension for his hit on Gold Coast Suns midfielder Matt Rowell in Sunday night's match at Optus Stadium, with the Match Review Officer Michael Christian grading the incident as medium impact and high contact.

The Eagles challenged all aspects of the charge, arguing it was a "legitimate marking attempt" and Rioli had not breached his duty of care to Rowell or made high contact in the collision.

In overturning the charge, the jury of David Neitz, Shane Wakelin and Tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson QC declared the small forward had not ceased to contest the ball in the collision and his actions were reasonable.

Rioli was playing his first match since the 2019 elimination final, and is now set to face the Roos at Docklands on Sunday.

Earlier Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane had his one match ban overturned for misconduct in an incident involving Fremantle player Blake Acres in the Dockers one point win on Sunday at the Adelaide Oval.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.


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