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Clear for Cats: Roo's ban overturned

Christensen concussed by Roo Allen Christensen taken from the ground after Jy Simpkin's arm catches him high

NORTH Melbourne young gun Jy Simpkin is free to face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon after his two-match ban for rough conduct was overturned at the Tribunal on Tuesday night.

The incident on Brisbane's Allen Christensen was graded by Match Review Officer Michael Christian as careless conduct, high impact and high contact.

Christensen failed a concussion test and did not play out the game.

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Brisbane's medical report showed Christensen was treated for concussion and an X-ray of his jaw was taken on Monday but the Lion isn't expected to miss any training or matches.

A relieved Simpkin said after the hearing he spoke to the Lion.

"Happy to be playing this week, obviously. Put all this behind us now. I spoke to Allen Christensen after the game and he was in good spirits, so I'm happy for him," Simpkin said.

The 20-year-old felt positive about his chances of not missing any football.

"I was pretty confident. I think we were all pretty confident that I didn't have much time to do much else, so it was pretty accidental," Simpkin said.


The Tribunal panel of David Neitz, Jason Johnson and Wayne Henwood took six minutes to come to its decision.

North Melbourne advocate Rob O'Neill argued Simpkin contested the football, and that the circumstances were outside his control, with no other option than to brace for contact.

AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson QC made several concessions, including that Simpkin had no opportunity to do anything other than brace for contact.

When called to the evidence stand, Simpkin said he didn't intend to bump, with his natural reaction causing him to brace for contact, and that no Lions remonstrated with him.

O'Neill pointed out the relevance of the split-second in which Simpkin had to decide on his course of action.

"The members of the jury don't need me to tell them how quickly things can change on the football field," O'Neill said.