Viney cops two-game ban at AFL tribunal

Anna HarringtonAAP
Jack Viney has copped a two-match ban for his elbow into the throat of Gold Coast's Sam Collins.
Camera IconJack Viney has copped a two-match ban for his elbow into the throat of Gold Coast's Sam Collins. Credit: AAP

Melbourne's Jack Viney has been slapped with a two-match ban for serious misconduct after the AFL tribunal found him guilty of pressing and holding his elbow into the neck and throat of Gold Coast's Sam Collins.

The suspension rules Viney out of Monday's game against West Coast plus Melbourne's round-22 clash with Adelaide.

Viney was sent directly to the tribunal and on Tuesday night faced a hearing that lasted more than two hours.

AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson asserted the serious misconduct charge was constituted by Viney "pressing and holding his elbow into the throat and neck region for a prolonged period with force".

Viney pleaded guilty and accepted the incident was "not a great look for the game".

But the Demons vice-captain was adamant Collins had instigated contact and he had made meaningful contact only to the jaw, not the neck or throat, after acting in "self-defence" to stop the defender from flipping him onto his back.

Gleeson rejected Viney's self-defence argument as "nonsense" and said his conduct was "designed to intimidate, to be a show of force, to hurt (Collins)."

"Applying full-force pressure with your elbow to somebody's neck is something that with common sense most people would conclude is risky behaviour, " he said.

The Suns' medical report showed Collins had not required treatment or missed any training.

An hour into the hearing, Melbourne counsel Adrian Anderson asserted Viney had made contact to Collins' jaw, not the throat/neck and tribunal chairman David Jones interrupted to point out he had pleaded guilty to the charge defined by Gleeson.

Anderson said Viney had pleaded guilty to "serious misconduct" but Melbourne had not been made aware that was because of contact to the neck/throat.

Jones had the tribunal "stand down" for several minutes, before Viney withdrew his original guilty charge and pleaded not guilty.

After further discussions, Viney admitted he was guilty of serious misconduct but for contact to the jaw, not the throat or neck.

The jury - Paul Williams, Shane Wakelin and Wayne Henwood - were sent to determine which interpretation of serious misconduct they agreed with - the AFL's (contact to neck/throat) or Viney's (contact to jaw).

After 10 minutes they found Viney guilty of the AFL's interpretation.

Gleeson pushed for a suspension of at least two matches while Anderson argued for a penalty between a fine and a one-match ban.

The jury took just four minutes to settle on two matches.

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