Hello and welcome to Zero Hanger's live coverage of Wednesday's AFL Tribunal hearing, where West Coast and Tom Barrass challenge the defender's rough conduct charge and one-game suspension.

Barrass was handed the one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Fremantle's Michael Walters during the fourth quarter of the Round 6 game between the Eagles and the Dockers.

The AFL's Match Review Officer graded the tackle as Careless Conduct, Medium Impact and High Contact.

The Eagles have decided to challenge the charge in the hope of clearing Barrass for this weekend's game against Gold Coast. If unsuccessful, Barrass will be next available against Essendon in Round 8.

Follow Barrass' AFL Tribunal hearing live below...

Eagles, Barrass unsuccessful at AFL Tribunal

West Coast's Tom Barrass has seen his suspension for rough conduct (dangerous tackle) upheld at the AFL Tribunal. He will not be available to play this weekend against the Gold Coast Suns.

Barrass will next be available to play in Round 8 when the Eagles take on Essendon.

Here's how the Tribunal played out...

2:07: The Tribunal is now deliberating, with a verdict to come shortly.

2:01: Woods: The AFL's position is that the reliance on the "compelling and exceptional circumstances" argument is not comparable to the same arguments that saw Charlie Cameron's suspension reduced last week.

"This is not one of those cases," Woods says, due to Barrass' shorter career and the assumed level of carelessness.

1:57: Woods (AFL) refutes Grace's earlier claim that Walters' head makes initial contact with the ball instead of the ground. Woods claims a certain angle of the incident will prove his point. The Tribunal is likely to review the footage in their deliberations.

1:53: Grace claims the Match Review Officer handed down their findings prior to the release of the medical report for Walters. Grace believes the outcome could've been different if the MRO had had access to a medical report. "Speculation but significant," Grace says.

1:48: Grace was set to show how Walters was able to continue in the match after the incident, however the Tribunal and the AFL approve that they don't dispute Walters was fine to continue and therefore Grace won't need to show said footage/examples.

1:42: David Grace, West Coast's counsel, draws attention to the fact that Walters' head makes first contact with the ball, prior to the ground, which is argued would lower the significance of the impact.

1:34: Woods: The AFL's position is that [the impact grading] sits comfortably in 'medium' rather than 'low'. Barrass rotates Walters where he could have instead been held.

"If there was no rotation at all, there could have been a very different outcome.

"This isn't medium impact just on the visual look, the AFL's second submission is to take into account the potential to cause injury."

1:30: Woods (AFL) is drawing attention to parts of the AFL Tribunal guidelines, including:

The application of a tackle may be considered Rough Conduct which is unreasonable in the circumstances. In determining whether the application of a tackle constitutes a Reportable Offence and whether the offence is Careless or Intentional, without limitation, regard may be had to the following factors, whether

  • The Player being tackled is in a vulnerable position (e.g. arm(s) pinned)
    with little opportunity to protect himself.
  • An opponent is slung, driven or rotated into the ground with excessive force (for example, a run down tackle where the tackled player is driven into the ground with excessive force).

1:28: The Eagles are planning to submit evidence which contains footage of Walters in several moments during Saturday's game which occurred after the incident. The evidence was approved, along with the aforementioned character references.

1:26: Barrass' cross-examination has now concluded.

1:22: The AFL's counsel (Andrew Woods), is now cross-examining Barrass.

Woods has Barrass repeat his prior comment that he went with Walters' momentum in the tackle, with Woods disputing all momentum came from Walters.

"It was a combination of the momentum of us both," Barrass responded.

1:19: Barrass has two character references, one from a 'Mr. McGovern' and one from former West Coast chairman Russell Gibbs. Barrass is the secretary of the McGovern Foundation, which is one of his "philanthropic interests".

1:17: Barrass confirms he's never been suspended across 138 AFL games and close to 50 matches at the WAFL level.

1:13: Barrass accepts he used excessive force in the tackle and that it was sufficient to bring Walters to the ground.

Barras: "My intent was to secure Walters, who had tried to palm me off. I believe my right arm initially wrapped him up, I secured him in a tackle. I went with his momentum.

"I was wondering whether he was going to dispose of the ball or whether it was going to be my free kick for holding the ball.

"I had two interactions with Walters afterwards, where he signalled he was all good.

"After the game we shook hands, he said he was all good."

1:08: A minor break in proceedings as Barrass doesn't have a view of the footage/evidence on display.

1:05: The Eagles will look to lean on the "compelling and exceptional circumstances" factor in the guidelines that cleared Charlie Cameron last week if the impact grading remains 'medium'. Barrass has 138 games to his name.

1:02pm:West Coast are pleading guilty to the charge of rough conduct, but will argue the level of impact should be 'low' not 'medium'. A reduced grading would mean Barrass is only fined and free to play this weekend.

A medical report states no immediate treatment for Walters was needed, nor was there any further treatment following the match.