Giant to miss Blues clash after ban for bump

GREATER Western Sydney defender Nicola Barr will miss the club's match against Carlton after receiving a one-match suspension from the AFL Tribunal for rough conduct against North Melbourne midfielder Ash Riddell.

The charge was the first case in three AFLW seasons to be sent directly to the Tribunal, and was also the first ungraded incident.

"We didn't feel the action and impact from Barr was captured accurately by the penalty table and the guidelines," MRO officer Michael Christian told womens.afl.

"It was most appropriate to send ungraded to the Tribunal so both sides can present their case and a more appropriate penalty can be handed out." 

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Barr had bumped Riddell close to 40 metres off the ball and pleaded guilty to rough conduct. 

The off-the-ball incident that saw a Giant banned

00:26 Feb 13. 2019. 9:57 AM

GWS defender Nicola Barr has been suspended for one match for this bump on Ash Riddell from the Kangaroos

The Roo had landed awkwardly and suffered a right ankle syndesmosis injury, which will likely keep her out for 4-6 weeks and could require surgery. 

As the incident was ungraded, both parties presented to Tribunal chairman David Jones on the appropriate citation.

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Adrian Anderson, representing Barr, suggested the incident should be graded as medium-high contact and of careless intent.

The AFL's representative, Jeff Gleeson, submitted the case should be graded as severe contact and intentional intent. 

In her evidence, Barr said while she had intended to bump Riddell, she believed it was of relatively light contact and it was not her intention push Riddell to the ground, let alone cause injury.

Evidence submitted included behind-the-goals vision of the incident and, unusually, a Facebook post and photo from Riddell's account, demonstrating she had previously broken the same right ankle in January 2017. 

After close to an hour and a half of presentations and a further 10 minutes of deliberation, the Tribunal panel of Wayne Henwood, Stewart Loewe and Sharelle McMahon found Barr guilty of rough conduct, graded as careless and high impact.

Gleeson then asked for a one-match suspension, given the bump resulted in "serious injury" and taking Barr's guilty plea and remorse into account. 

Anderson suggested a reprimand or a $400 fine (AFLW fines are set at a pro-rata rate to AFL fines) would be more appropriate, due to the guilty plea, the extremely unusual and unforeseeable result of the bump, Riddell's previous ankle injury, the fact the ball was in the process of entering the forward 50 when the bump occurred and the "exceptional character" of Barr. 

However the panel sided with Gleeson, handing down a one-match suspension.