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North’s Thomas escapes AFL ban at tribunal

North Melbourne midfielder Tarryn Thomas has been successful in overturning his one-game AFL suspension at the tribunal.

The 21-year-old was slapped with a ban by the match review officer for a rough conduct charge in the Kangaroos’ drought-breaking win against Hawthorn on Saturday.

Thomas’ hit on Hawthorn’s Changkuoth Jiath in the first quarter was assessed as careless conduct, medium impact, and high contact, resulting in a one-match ban.

But North’s defence was simple: “this is not a bump, this is two players contesting the ball”.

After deliberating for only eight minutes, the tribunal jury agreed and Thomas is free to play in the Kangaroos’ clash with Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

Jiath left the field after the incident and was assessed for concussion but passed all tests and was able to return.

The exciting defender was off the ground for eight minutes longer than the required concussion protocols require but that was due to an administrative error from Hawthorn.

The AFL’s legal counsel Jeff Gleeson argued Thomas elected to bump.

“He’s not reaching out for the ball, but rather assumes a tucked-up position to bump,” Gleeson told the tribunal.

The Kangaroos ended a 16-game losing streak when they came back from 32 points down against the Hawks in Launceston.

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