The chicken-wing tackle docker has won the AFL ban

Fremantle forward Sam Sweetkowski pleaded guilty to the AFL tribunal and defended himself for a long ban for his chicken-wing tackle.

Sweetkovsky was suspended for two games, sidelined for the Dockers clash against Melbourne and Brisbane as they tried to rebound from two consecutive losses.

The 25-year-old was referred directly to a tribunal on charges of serious misconduct for dealing with Collingwood young gunman Jack Ginivan.

Although the Dockers tried to argue for a significant fine, they did not try to talk about the crime.

This proved to be a smart move, with the tribunal’s chairman, Jeff Gleason, impressing the sentence by pointing to Svetkowski’s “forced” conviction.

“It would be clear that in the absence of a broader conviction, the grant would have been higher,” Gleason said.

Gleason and jury members Wayne Henwood and Paul Williams took 20 minutes to decide the penalty.

AFL counsel Andrew Woods argued for a two-game suspension, while Sweetkowski’s advocate, Seamus Raffer, demanded a fine.

But Svetkovsky is always going to be suspended, because Gleason said in his judgment that the manner in which he took Guinness’s hand over his back in a tackle was “intentional, sporty and dangerous.”

“The two movements and the amount of force that Guinness’s arm was forced upwards did not result in any injuries,” Gleason added.

The tribunal’s boss has added a guilty plea and the Dockers boss is reducing the reasons for the two-character reference punishment, including one from Peter Bell.

Svetkovsky was not called to testify at the hearing.

Woods said the tackle was unacceptable and “just wrong.”

Raffarty said there was no intention to hit Svetkovsky’s guinea pig and that there was no animosity in the tackle, nor did the young Magpie react after the incident.

Dockers also cites previous incidents that left Carlton star Chris Judd, Richmond forward Jack Reeldt and Geelong captain Joel Selwood in trouble with the tribunal for dangerous tackles.

But Woods argued that the three incidents were different from Guinness’s Sweetkowski tackle.


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