Hawthorn ruckman Simon Taylor has been cleared of a rough conduct charge by the AFL tribunal and is free to play against the Bombers on Friday night at the Telstra Dome.

Taylor was suspended for two weeks earlier in the season for kneeing Geelong’s Joel Selwood and was facing another two match ban after the clash with Setanta O’hAilpin on Saturday in the Hawks thrilling win. He chose to fight the ban, risking a 3 match suspension, and was cleared after the tribunal was convinced that the contact “was not forceful enough to be considered rough and that the Carlton big man had fallen to the ground because he was not expecting the hit.”

Speaking today after the non-guilty verdict Taylor said that he was just trying to block his opponent and didn’t intend to cause any harm.

“You are always accountable for your opponent and I was trying to get on the defensive side of him and stop him getting involved in play up the field,” Taylor said.