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Geelong's Dangerfield cleared of rough conduct

Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield has beaten a rough conduct charge and is free to play in the Cats' crunch game against Essendon.

Dangerfield won his challenge to a one-game suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night after being cited for a tackle on Carlton's Sam Walsh.

The incident was assessed by the match review officer as rough conduct, comprising careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

But Dangerfield, who pinned both of Walsh's arms, insisted it was the safest way to tackle the Carlton midfielder in the circumstances.

"I knew what I wanted to do in terms of the way I wanted to tackle him," Dangerfield told the tribunal.

"I understand the letter of the law ... it was the safest way I could control the way he landed.

"I haven't driven through in the tackle ... you wouldn't execute a tackle in this way if you were going to enforce maximum damage."

Walsh wasn't hurt or treated medically because of the tackle but the AFL's counsel Andrew Woods argued Dangerfield's act had potential to cause injury.

"It would have been prudent to let go of one of his (Walsh's) arms," Woods said.

"Dangerfield didn't do enough to discharge the duty that he owed Walsh ... and left him in a very vulnerable position."

But Dangerfield, who is president of the AFL Players Association, said he was well aware of his duty of care to Walsh.

"I am not disputing I had both arms pinned," he said.

"I was in control of the way he was brought to the ground, absolutely I was in control, I was pulling him back.

"I know where the industry is at with concussion, with head-high impact and trauma, all of those things.

"That is why I was pulling him back. I felt it was the safest way to do it."

The tribunal deliberated for 40 minutes before returning a verdict, with chair Jeff Gleeson saying the three-member panel deemed Dangerfield's tackle as not unreasonable.

"The evidence is clear that Dangerfield ... pulled back with considerable force to attempt to prevent Walsh being driven into the ground," Gleeson said.

"This was not rough conduct."

Dangerfield is available for Geelong's MCG clash against third-placed Essendon on Saturday night, when the seventh-placed Cats seek to arrest an alarming stretch of six defeats from their past seven matches.