Royals scream blue murder
Royals scream blue murder

East Perth have accused the WAFL of running a vendetta against controversial forward Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls after he was suspended for two matches for biting Perth opponent Julian Jacobs.

But Oakley-Nicholls is likely to appeal against the ban that will prevent him playing until the first semifinal next month.

He was found guilty at the WAFL Tribunal last night of biting Jacobs' finger during the game at Medibank Stadium two weeks ago.

The initial notice of investigation lodged by umpire Justin Orr was dismissed by the tribunal last week before WAFL operations manager Cam Knapton used his own powers to require Oakley- Nicholls to answer a misconduct charge.

Chairman Alan Moroni found the former West Coast rookie guilty of the charge after saying that his evidence was less reliable than that of Jacobs and Orr.

It was Oakley-Nicholls' second controversial tribunal appearance this season after he insisted that West Perth's Kody Manning answer a racial vilification charge in June following the heated exchanges after the draw in the WA Day match at Arena Joondalup.

Manning received a mandatory three-week ban after Oakley-Nicholls refused to accept his apology.

East Perth advocate Bill Blakely said the process to charge Oakley-Nicholls with misconduct had been "amateurish and vindictive" and questioned why the player had been required to twice defend the biting matter.

"It is almost as though there is a vendetta against Jarrad Oakley- Nicholls," he said.

Speaking after the hearing, Knapton said it was important for the integrity of the competition that a matter of serious misconduct was heard by the tribunal.

Both players said they had been pushing and shoving each other in the last quarter of the match before Jacobs claimed that Oakley- Nicholls bit his finger as he straightened his right arm.

"I went to push him away . . . and he lent forward and bit my finger," Jacobs said.

"I pulled it out as quickly as I could and walked over to the umpire and said he had bitten my finger. There was a bite mark and bleeding. It looked as though I had caught my finger in the door and that it was punctured."

·Fremantle veteran Antoni Grover will be free to play for the Dockers or his WAFL team Subiaco this week after receiving a reprimand for headbutting East Perth opponent Adam Prior last Saturday.

Grover pleaded guilty to misconduct but argued that the contact was of low impact.

The West Australian

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