DYLAN Shiel will serve a two-match ban for his bump on North Melbourne's Curtis Taylor after failing to mitigate his suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.

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Essendon will be without its star midfielder for clashes with the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide in the next fortnight.


The incident resulted in Taylor leaving the field for a concussion test and undergoing a scan on Monday for a potential jaw fracture.

Dylan Shiel after laying a heavy bump on Curtis Taylor. Picture: AFL Photos

Taylor passed the concussion test and returned to Saturday night's game, while the scan two days later cleared him of any damage, as North Melbourne's medical report stated. 

In further communication from the Kangaroos, they confirmed Taylor completed a light training session on Tuesday without issue.

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This was a key part of the Bombers' submission on Shiel's behalf, with former AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson representing the 27-year-old midfielder. 


Shiel entered an early guilty plea at the start of the lengthy hearing, on the basis the classification of his charge was reduced from high impact to medium.

Match Review Officer Michael Christian did not have the scan result at the time he classified Shiel's action as careless conduct, high impact and high contact. 

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One of the early pieces of evidence Anderson presented related to the 2017 preliminary final, where Richmond captain Trent Cotchin concussed Shiel in a collision as they contested the ball. 


Shiel told the jury members that incident had a "significant" impact on how he approached such contests from then, and he undertook extensive coaching on his technique from Lenny Hayes and Leon Cameron. 

He admitted what happened to Taylor was "not an ideal scenario" but that he was "a ball player and a fair player" who had never been suspended in senior or junior football previously.

You hit him flush and he spun or rotated off you pretty forcefully.

- AFL's legal counsel Jeff Gleeson

The AFL's legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson, disputed Shiel's evidence that Taylor was only in his peripheral vision and that he was, in fact, front on to his opponent.

"You hit him flush and he spun or rotated off you pretty forcefully," Gleeson said.

Dylan Shiel is hit by Richmond's Trent Cotchin in the 2017 preliminary final. Picture: Screenshot

Anderson introduced a series of examples from the Tribunal guidelines that demonstrated low, medium and high impact. 

The two high impact examples were of Zak Jones colliding with Essendon's Kyle Langford, and Nathan Brown bumping Bomber Adam Saad.

Anderson pointed out that both Langford and Saad took no further part in those respective games, which Gleeson argued should not be considered in Shiel's case.

Anderson also highlighted that Langford and Saad could not reasonably have expected contact, whereas Taylor would have.

Gleeson argued Shiel took "four or five" steps before making contact with Taylor and approached at speed before pushing off with his left leg.

 He told the jury members the guidelines stated they "must" give "strong consideration" to the "potential to cause injury".

Gleeson said the fact Taylor didn't sustain a facial fracture was "a matter of good luck rather than good management". 

Anderson argued all of the bumps in the examples he presented came with a risk of injury but that Taylor had a better chance of avoiding it because he was expecting contact.

However, the jury members rejected Essendon's bid to reduce Shiel's rough conduct classification from high impact, and stated it was "fortunate the consequences were not greater for Curtis Taylor".


Anderson argued for "exceptional and compelling circumstances" to be considered in the sanction, including his lack of prior suspensions and the 2017 preliminary final incident. 

As part of this, Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams was introduced as a character witness for Shiel, who is in a long-term relationship with Williams' daughter, Georgie. 

GWS senior assistant coach Mark Williams addressing his players in round one, 2012. Picture: AFL Photos

Williams also coached Shiel while he was a senior assistant at the Giants, where the latter began his AFL career. 

He said Shiel was "one of the fairest players" he had coached and deserved "a second chance".

After deliberating again, the jury members handed Shiel the same two-match ban he faced before the hearing.