Clarkson backs change to rushed behinds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarkson backs change to rushed behinds

By Adam Cooper 28/09/2008 05:20:06 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson expects his side's generosity in rushing 11 Geelong behinds in the AFL grand final to be the last time the current rule is applied.

The Hawks defenders conceded almost two goals' worth of Geelong's score at the MCG, although it made no difference to the result, as Hawthorn's 26-point win secured their first premiership in 17 years.

At the conclusion of a season which has produced its share of debate over the rushed-behind rule, Clarkson threw his support behind a change in the laws, to prevent defenders conceding a point and getting the ball back.

"I don't think it's a good advertisement for our game, that that sort of tactic is used on a regular basis," Clarkson said.

"I'd be surprised if it wasn't addressed at some point over the summer."

Hawthorn took the safety-first option of conceding rather than kicking to a contest throughout the match, but Clarkson denied the move was a set tactic.

Instead, he said, the likes of Brent Guerra, Campbell Brown and Luke Hodge conceded behinds when they could not see a way through Geelong's zone formation from the centre of the ground.

"On so many occasions you looked up and there was a wall of Geelong players," Clarkson told the Nine Network.

"It was either tap it back for a behind or risk having it kicked over your scone for six points, so they took the former on most occasions."

The time-soaking tactic of rushing several behinds in succession employed by Richmond's Joel Bowden against Essendon in round 16 prompted a wave of discussion over whether the law should be changed - and if so, how.

The suggested changes have included awarding rushed behinds three points, giving the other side a shot at goal from 25 metres, bouncing the ball at the top of the goalsquare, or even introducing a rule similar to the one in basketball, where the clock does not restart until the ball is in possession.

Clarkson said the rule needed changing, but was opposed to awarding rushed behinds three points - like in the pre-season competition - because of the change in the game's scoring system.

"Whether it's a bounce at the top of the square or at a point 25 (metres) out...," he said.

"I'm not certain with the idea of the three points, I think that messes with the traditions of our game.

"But I think something needs to be addressed in that regard."

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