KANGAROOS legend Brent Harvey has hit back at suggestions Jack Ziebell should be suspended for a bump on Travis Cloke that left the Bulldogs forward with broken ribs.
Ziebell bumped Cloke just after the ball had left his boot late in the Good Friday match, with AFL legend Leigh Matthews saying he would be “surprised” if the Kangaroos skipper avoided suspension.
But Harvey said the fact Ziebell didn’t make contact with Cloke’s head meant the hit — while tough — was fair game.
“Absolutely no doubt, he shouldn’t be suspended,” Harvey said on Gameday Live.
“The ball was in play — and that’s one of those things … when the ball’s there, you’re allowed to go hard for it.
“Unfortunately for ‘Clokey’, he’s got six weeks on the sidelines with broken ribs but Jack’s a hard player and he went hard at the ball and he hit Cloke as well — broken ribs.”
Crunched Cloke limps off0:35
AFL: Travis Cloke was crunched by Kangaroos skipper Jack Ziebell and was forced to leave the game.
Harvey said it would be “against the spirit of the game” for Ziebell to be sanctioned for the hit.
“There was no head high contact I don’t think, so no, that’s play on,” he said.
“He’s hit him flush, he was open because he was kicking the ball.
“So he gets him front-on, a little bit side-on, obviously as well. There’s no head contact.
“This is footy, this is the thing. They can’t suspend Jack for that because that’s against the spirit of the game.”
Matthews had criticised Ziebell for electing to bump, rather than attempting to smother Cloke’s kick into the forward 50.
“When you are approaching a guy who is about to kick the ball, the idea is normally you are trying to smother the kick,” he told 3AW.
“But Jack Ziebell didn’t try and smother the kick. He just drove his shoulder basically into the rib cage of Travis Cloke.
“It was marginally after the ball was kicked so you would think to yourself: ‘Was the bump necessary?’
“That’s where it starts — if the bump is deemed that it wasn’t necessary to bump.
“You don’t normally bump when the bloke has the ball, you bump when he hasn’t got the ball because you can’t tackle him.”
Cloke is set to miss between four and six weeks of football due to the broken ribs suffered in the bump.
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Originally published as ’They can’t suspend Jack for that’
SOURCE: newsnow sport