Players using umpires as screens: Boak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Players using umpires as screens: Boak

22/04/2009 02:16:26 PM Comments (0)

AFL players are using umpires as a screen to get away from taggers, Port Adelaide onballer Travis Boak says.

Boak's teammate Matt Thomas on Tuesday became the first player to be suspended under the league's push to stop players colliding with umpires.

Thomas was suspended for one match and fined $2,600 for recklessly making contact with an umpire during Port's win against Hawthorn last weekend.

Thomas' contact with umpire Jason Armstrong came while he was attempting to follow his Hawk opponent, Brad Sewell.

Boak said on Wednesday his teammate was "pretty unlucky".

"It's pretty hard for Shaun Burgoyne, D-Rod (David Rodan) and these sorts of guys to get away from their opponents," Boak told reporters.

"They're going to try and do anything to get away from their players and I know we try and use it (umpires as a screen) sometimes.

"Looking at the incident, it was pretty unlucky for Matty ... he was pretty much just trying to hold Sewell out."

Boak said players knew avoiding contact with umpires was their responsibility.

"We know we've got to try and get out of the way of the umpires," he said.

"The umpires come into the centre circle and say which way they're coming back, so you've just got to try and stay on your opponent and get out of the way of the umpire at the same time."

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