State League tribunal clamps down to deter serious offences

HARSH: Jordan Cousens.
HARSH: Jordan Cousens.

North Launceston’s prized signing Jordan Cousens is set to miss the crucial Clarence encounter on Saturday.

The State League tribunal had found Cousens guilty of headbutting North Hobart’s Michael Woods and outed the onballer for two matches.

The ban on the Rocherlea best-and-fairest winner is a major blow for the Bombers in the top-of-the-table game.

The 24-year-old had been adjudged best afield earlier this year against Clarence in his fourth game for the club.

Cousens pleaded not guilty to the charge on Saturday.

The incident had bypassed the match review panel and was referred directly to the independent tribunal due to insufficient video evidence.

But the tribunal later said it was swayed by the weight of “clear and definite evidence” given by both the reporting umpire and Woods.

Cousens avoided a longer suspension after the tribunal rated the incident as careless high contact, but with medium impact given that Woods played the game out.

FLYING OUT: Tyler Carter.

FLYING OUT: Tyler Carter.

Tiger Tyler Carter also has failed to beat a charge over making insulting comments towards the umpire.

Carter had been offered a one-game suspension after a similar low-level sanction in the past 12 months. But the 22-year-old brother of star Mitch pleaded not guilty.

After a lengthy 90-minute hearing, the tribunal accepted only the umpire’s version of events of the incident.

The tribunal decided the comments directed at the umpire “cannot be condoned” should AFL Tasmania uphold its zero tolerance stance against umpire abuse.

The decision comes just a week after the State League unsuccessfully appealed to extend a one-match penalty handed down to Glenorchy’s Josh Grant over allegedly threatening an umpire.