AFL's high contact crackdown 'best way' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL's high contact crackdown 'best way'

By Adam Cooper 03/06/2008 07:28:29 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Terry Wallace believes the bump falls into one of the AFL's grey areas, but says punishing players who make contact with opponents' heads is a no-brainer.

"We're always going to have some grey areas that are going to be debatable, but I'd rather have the debate than have somebody in a very nasty situation," he said when asked if the rules made it tougher for players to apply a hip and shoulder.

Three players were reported and suspended in round 10 for making high contact on opponents.

Adelaide's Brett Burton (two games) and the Western Bulldogs' Robert Murphy (one game) have pleaded guilty to their charges.

But West Coast's Beau Waters chose to challenge a two-match suspension at the tribunal after being charged with engaging in rough play against Collingwood's Shane O'Bree.

Burton's absence from Saturday's game against the Tigers is welcome news for Wallace, but he agreed it was tougher for players now to apply a bump on opponents confident of being in the all-clear.

"No doubt, there is a real grey area," he said.

"But we know that the head is sacrosanct and if you're going down that pathway you're going to find yourself out for a couple of weeks no matter what happens.

"Personally I think that's a reasonably good thing.

"I think some of the nasty things we saw over a two- or three-year period, if we can alleviate that out of the game, I think that's the best way."

Wallace said the bump Port Adelaide's Shaun Burgoyne applied on Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell in round eight, which cost the Power star three games on the sidelines, was the bump which fell most into the grey area of what was legal and what was not.

Meanwhile, Essendon captain Matthew Lloyd has avoided a fine after discussing Murphy's bump on Hawthorn's Xavier Ellis.

Lloyd said on Sunday players would be reluctant to apply bumps if Murphy was suspended, for fear of making accidental high contact.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson spoke with Lloyd on Monday night and reminded him not to discuss matters where a report had been laid or where a case could go to the tribunal, a league spokesman said.

But he confirmed Lloyd would not be penalised.

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