Brown coming to grips with Rules changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown coming to grips with Rules changes

By Roger Vaughan 27/10/2008 08:21:34 PM Comments (0)

Contrite Australian International Rules vice-captain Campbell Brown admits he deserved to be sent off for his bump on Irish opponent Finian Hanley.

Brown was yellow-carded and spent the last 10 minutes on the bench for the incident in the last quarter of Friday night's match at Subiaco, which Ireland won by a point.

The Hawthorn utility ran past the ball to lay the heavy shepherd on Hanley and under the rules of the hybrid match, this is forbidden.

Last year's series was cancelled over Irish concerns about violent on-field incidents in previous Tests, making any physical clashes in this series particularly controversial.

The match control committee decided to take no further action over Brown's bump and he said the incident had taught him a lesson about the game's rules.

"I've got a pretty good understanding now - you're allowed to bump, but you've got to be side-to-side," Brown said.

"On the night I thought it was alright, but looking back on the replay, it was probably borderline.

"The referee made the right decision and I copped my whack, I'm glad I'm playing this Friday night."

But Brown insists the Australians were not the only ones dishing out the physical pain in the 2006 series.

"We know that what we did in 2006 was overstepping the mark, on both sides," he said.

"It wasn't just one side doing it and this year, we want to make it a really friendly, hard contest."

Brown and Hanley did not know at the time who else was involved in their incident, but they used a post-match function to make sure there were no hard feelings.

One initiative of this month's series is to ensure players from the two teams mix more off the field.

"We went up and had dinner after the game, had a beer and said g'day," Brown said of Hanley.

"I didn't know who I had hit and he didn't know who had got him, so we shook hands and we're all good.

"That's something that didn't happen over in Ireland and they've brought it back this year.

"It can only help if you get to know them from a different point of view than just on the field."

While AFL and GAA officials would have been unhappy with Brown's heavy contact, the Subiaco crowd loved it.

The Hawks hard man received a standing ovation as he was ordered from the field.

"It was a little bit loud, it's probably the only time I will get a standing ovation in Subiaco," Brown said with a grin.

Australia will play Ireland in the second and deciding Test on Friday night at the MCG.

"All we need to do is win by one point - looking halfway through that last quarter, when we were down by 17, it looked like it might have got away (from us)," Brown said.

"Hopefully we'll get a big crowd there on Friday night and bring the Aussies home."

Geelong defender Josh Hunt has joined the Australian squad in place of team-mate Max Rooke, who missed the Perth Test through illness.

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