WESTERN Bulldogs defender Hayden Crozier has failed in his bid to overturn his rough conduct charge and will miss Sunday's match against Carlton.

The Match Review Officer offered Crozier a one-match ban for his tackle on North Melbourne forward Jack Mahony in the final quarter of their match on Saturday night.


The AFL Tribunal upheld that suspension on Tuesday night.


Crozier's tackle, which resulted in Mahony's head crashing into the ground, was originally classified as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

The Bulldogs argued Crozier's actions were not unreasonable in the circumstances and highlighted that both of Mahony's arms were free in the tackle.

The Roo remained on the ground in the immediate aftermath before walking from the field with a cut and blood above his left eyebrow.

North Melbourne's medical report stated Mahony left the field for five minutes to be assessed but returned to the game, required no further investigation and did not miss any training.

The AFL's legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson, described Crozier's tackle as being two actions, after wrapping his arms around Mahony before rotating him.

Gleeson said it was "a pretty significant turn".

THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?

Crozier and his representative, Sam Norton, took issue with Gleeson saying it was a sling tackle and preferred it to be referenced as a rotation.

They felt Mahony, with both arms free, was in a position to protect himself more than he did.

However, Gleeson argued that didn't matter and Crozier didn't take reasonable care to avoid committing a reportable offence.

Gleeson also pointed out that the guidelines do not require a player to have their arms pinned for a tackle to be deemed dangerous, and said Crozier used "excessive force".

He said the jury must give "strong consideration" to the potential to cause injury from a dangerous tackle.

After deliberating for almost 20 minutes, the jury found the charge proven and Crozier guilty, regarding his tackle as being unreasonable in the circumstances, particularly the second action in rotating Mahony to the ground.

They felt Crozier could have executed the tackle differently, regarded the degree of force as unreasonable and the level of impact as medium.


Norton then suggested a $3000 fine would be more appropriate, given Crozier had never been reported in any of his previous 112 AFL or 40 WAFL games.

He also raised the "nature and speed of this incident" and the shortened AFL season as reasons for the Tribunal to give Crozier a fine rather than suspend him.

The jury deliberated again but upheld the suspension.