The Greater Western Sydney Giants will launch a last-ditch effort to free small forward Toby Bedford at the AFL Appeal Board on Thursday afternoon.
Bedford’s one-match ban for rough conduct on Carlton’s Zac Fisher was upheld at the AFL Tribunal on Monday afternoon, with the Giants locking in an appeal the following morning.
The incident was graded by the Match Review Officer as careless conduct with medium impact and high contact, resulting in a one-match suspension – follow the Appeal Board from 2pm AEST in the blog below!
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If the Giants fail at the Appeal Board, Bedford would miss Saturday’s final against St Kilda.
The grounds for appeal at the AFL Appeal Board are:
– An error of law that has a material impact on the decision of the Tribunal.
– That the decision was so unreasonable that no Tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision having regard to the evidence before it.
– Classification of offence manifestly excessive or inadequate.
– Sanction imposed manifestly excessive or inadequate.
The Giants opted to appeal on the second ground, saying the Tribunal’s decision on Bedford’s high contact being ‘forceful’ was “so unreasonable that no Tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision having regard to the evidence before it.”
Ben Ihle, representing the Giants, said the Tribunal did not give adequate regard to the biomechanist’s evidence of Zac Fisher, which were both heard on Monday night.
Ihle said: “It is impossible based on the video to determine the level of force (of high contact).”
Later, he concluded: “The reasons given by the Tribunal demonstrate it was unreasonable in its approach & conclusion on forcefulness. The decision & reasons showed no logical path of reasoning, nor any evidence for it to find in a way that it did. That decision should be reversed.”
Bedford has proven a vital member of the Giants in 2023, with his pressure and ability to create scores vital to the side’s forward mix.
Follow the AFL Appeal Board from 2pm AEST in the blog below!