However AFL legal counsel Jeff Gleeson argued that the nature of Cox’s block to the body and the incident’s proximity to the ball made the offence worthy of a one-match suspension despite agreeing that the Magpie forward did not intend to make high contact with Grimes.
He described Cox’s action as a proactive move to make contact with Grimes which made it unreasonable.
“It knocks Grimes off his feet, because he wasn’t prepared for it or, if he was, he couldn’t do anything about it,” Gleeson said.
Under questioning Cox said he did not have any other option but to make contact with Grimes and that the nature of the collision caused the Tiger to go to ground rather than Cox’s momentum.
He told the tribunal that he was looking at the ball until he realised Grimes was within two to three feet of him and he braced for collision as Grimes was coming back at him with force and he was on his line.
Richmond doctor Greg Hickey presented a medical report declaring that there were no signs of concussion and the reason Grimes did not return to the ground is because he was being assessed for concussion and there were only seven minutes remaining.
He said Grimes needed no ongoing treatment and did not miss any training sessions following the match.
Cox was appealing a charge of engaging in rough conduct after laying a block on Grimes in the final quarter of Thursday’s match against the Tigers at the MCG.
The MRO assessed the incident as intentional conduct that was low impact and high contact with the MRO’s Michael Christian telling AFL Media that Cox had elected to bump.