Ben Cunnington will take on Geelong after successfully appealing his one-match ban

NORTH Melbourne stalwart Ben Cunnington has won his challenge at the AFL Tribunal and his one-match ban for rough conduct has been overturned.
The star Kangaroos midfielder is free to play against Geelong on Sunday after successfully downgrading his rough conduct charge at Tuesday night’s hearing.
Cunnington challenged a one-match ban for a high bump which felled Adelaide’s Rory Laird.
MATCH REVIEW Read the full statement
Cunnington’s bump in the second quarter of Sunday’s match was deemed as careless, high contact and of medium impact by the AFL’s match review officer.
The veteran onballer, through his Tribunal advocate Rob O’Neill, accepted the careless and high contact aspects but argued the force of impact was low, not medium.
The three-member Tribunal panel agreed and the downgrading meant Cunnington’s sanction was reduced from a one-game ban to a $2000 fine.
Adelaide’s Laird was knocked to the ground by Cunnington’s bump and taken from the field but wasn’t injured.
“He (Laird) plays out the rest of the game, dominates, and gets nine coaches’ votes,” Cunnington’s advocate O’Neill told the hearing.
AFL advocate Andrew Woods said the main point of the case was the potential to cause injury.
“To only focus on whether or not there was an actual injury would be an error,” Woods told the hearing.
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list
“… it would indicate that players can essentially behave in that manner and it’s only when someone gets hurt that a more serious offence will be found against them – that is not is what the laws or the regulations contemplate.”
All other players charged from round four incidents accepted their sanctions.
Western Bulldogs defender Caleb Daniel copped a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Brisbane’s Tom Berry while Hawthorn key forward Mitchell Lewis also accepted a one-match suspension for striking Fremantle youngster Caleb Serong.
Rookie-listed Rhyan Mansell made an expensive debut for Richmond, being fined a total of $4000 for two separate rough conduct charges in his club’s two-point loss to Port Adelaide.