Naitanui defiant as AFL suspension upheld

Roger Vaughan

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has pledged to keep playing the same way, despite his controversial one-game AFL suspension.

The AFL tribunal upheld Naitanui's rough conduct ban on Wednesday night in a marathon two-hour hearing.

The Eagles and their counsel David Grace QC will review the hearing and have until late Thursday morning to decide on an appeal.

The ban means Naitanui will miss Saturday's away game against GWS, with the Eagles on a six-game winning streak.

Naitanui, who appeared at the hearing via a video link from Perth, said there was no malice in his fierce tackle on Port Adelaide midfielder Karl Amon.

His defence suffered a blow when veteran Port doctor Mark Fisher said that he believed Amon suffered delayed concussion as a direct result of Naitanui's tackle.

Fisher stuck to his guns under sustained cross-examination from Grace.

It is unclear whether Amon will be available for Saturday's Showdown against Adelaide.

"I don't think I feel like I need to change anything," Naitanui said.

"There was no malice in it, there was no aggression.

"If I was seeking to go out and hurt someone, then I'd cop what I needed to and I wouldn't be as disappointed.

"But because it was just an act that I've done for the last 10 years of my career, I was left a little bit dumbfounded to a degree."

Naitanui also tweeted that he obviously was disappointed, but there was no point complaining.

It was a controversial case, with tribunal chairman David Jones reminding the jury during the hearing that they were not to consider the widespread commentary surrounding Naitanui's charge.

AFL advocate Jeff Gleeson sparked further debate when he argued that Naitanui had a duty of care to consider the disparity in size between himself and Amon.

Naitanui is 110 kg and Amon is around 80kg, a point that Gleeson asked the Eagles star about in his testimony.