McVeigh unhappy with Tigers' tactics - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McVeigh unhappy with Tigers' tactics

By Adam Cooper And Sam Lienert 20/07/2008 07:28:02 PM Comments (0)

Essendon's Mark McVeigh has taken exception to the time-soaking tactics used by Richmond's Joel Bowden, but Sydney coach Paul Roos believes the Tigers veteran should be congratulated.

Bowden soaked up precious seconds by twice hanging onto the ball as long as possible and then walking over the goal-line for rushed Essendon behinds at the MCG on Saturday, preventing the Bombers from getting possession.

His tactics successfully denied the Bombers the chance to earn one last shot at goal and the Tigers won by four points.

Roos joined Richmond assistant coach Brian Royal and Essendon coach Matthew Knights - a former teammate of Bowden's - in defending the tactics after furious Bombers fans had accused the defender of unsportsmanlike behaviour.

McVeigh, who is currently sidelined after knee surgery, joined his club's fans in disapproval and suggested the AFL should consider introducing the three-point penalty for rushed behinds - used in the pre-season competition - into premiership games.

"That was really frustrating because with the rule that we have in the pre-season the three-point rule may be looked at," he told the Seven Network.

"I don't agree with (Bowden's tactics) that you can just keep running the ball through.

"You've got to get the ball back into play.

"It was disappointing and frustrating, as a supporter and as a player, to watch."

But Roos, who also watched the game, labelled Bowden's actions an outstanding display of leadership and quick thinking.

"It was outstandingly smart, he's a really smart footballer and if I was sitting there as (Richmond coach) Terry Wallace I would have been really pleased with the way he handled himself," Roos said.

"We talk about leadership at a footy club, we talk about handling yourself under pressure - for a player to be able to think through a situation like that, they're the rules ... I thought it was outstanding leadership, I thought it was outstanding footy."

Roos predicted that if the novel time-wasting ploy was more widely adopted, coaches would soon find ways to counter it, such as deliberately giving away a 50m penalty to force the player out of the goalsquare.

"Next time the coaches will say 'this is what you've got to do, go and get the ball for him, hand it to him, then tackle him', that's what I'd be doing, help him get the footy. You've got to get it out," Roos said.

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