'Dogs expect scrutiny from AFL umpires - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Dogs expect scrutiny from AFL umpires

By Adam Cooper 01/05/2008 04:54:02 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs maintain they did nothing untoward to West Coast's Daniel Kerr, but concede they might come in for closer scrutiny by AFL umpires in Sydney on Sunday.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said he was a "bit surprised" by West Coast's John Worsfold questioning of the Dogs' tactics in curbing Kerr's influence last Saturday night at Telstra Dome.

Worsfold claimed after the match it was time for the AFL to introduce rules to better protect elite midfielders like Kerr, who were constantly shoved, bumped and "bashed up" by opponents.

Eade acknowledged that coaches often publicly called for protection for their best players, like he did last year for Scott West, to ward off any rough-house tactics.

But Eade maintained he say nothing that crossed the line from Matthew Boyd on Kerr, while the tagger himself said he had not done anything differently during the game, and that he often found he was physically targeted by opposition players.

"I didn't see anything really untoward," Eade said.

"Daniel Kerr got five free kicks, that's a pretty good ratio of a player getting free kicks from the umpire.

"I didn't see anything that Matthew did that was outside the rules."

Kerr endured a frustrating night against the Bulldogs and was this week suspended for three games for headbutting West.

Worsfold's remarks brought to attention the close-checking tactics some players use to curb the influence of gun midfielders, and Eade admitted the Bulldogs might be watched closely by umpires during Sunday's game against the Swans.

"That will be an interesting test," Eade said.

"Generally you'd like to think the rules are going to be interpreted the same way, week in and week out.

"You'd like to think it's not going to be a knee-jerk reaction, but maybe some more attention visually to it."

Eade agreed with Worsfold that midfielders should not get away with scragging or bumping opponents, as defenders were not permitted to do that to opposition forwards without infringing.

But Boyd said he accepted constant physical contact as part of the role of guarding a key opposition play maker.

"I do know what it's like to have guys run into you all day because you're running with a key midfielder," he said.

"But that's part and parcel of the game and everyone puts up with it."

The Bulldogs are unbeaten after five wins and a draw this season, and Boyd said he and his teammates were more confident in the physical side of the game.

"We're near the top (ranked sides) for (winning) contested ball, which is a real positive for us," he said.

"We've been seen as a more outside running side, so if we can add that part to our game it's a real positive for us."

The Bulldogs can expect a physical clash against the Swans and have nominated the game as a major test given they have not beaten Sydney since 2002 and are yet to play interstate this season.

West is yet to train this week after he underwent minor knee surgery last month, but is expected to play.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news