Franklin must modify game: Hawks coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin must modify game: Hawks coach

By Robert Grant 05/06/2010 01:25:36 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has taken aim at AFL umpires, warning exciting spearhead Lance Franklin will have to tone down his game unless given some leniency.

Franklin has been suspended three times in eight weeks of football, most recently for a high hit on Sydney's Martin Mattner last weekend.

Clarkson warned that unless umpires used some discretion with star players like Franklin over the bump rule, fans would be robbed of watching major drawcards in full flight.

"He's been suspended three times in the eight games that he's played so it is a concern for us and a significant concern for him," Clarkson said.

"He has to change the way that he goes about things, unfortunately.

"The spirit of the law itself in my view was to try to knock out the really significant bumps in footy and not the innocuous ones.

"That's my concern, that a ball player and one of the best players in the competition is not playing footy three times in the last eight or 10 games...

"I'm not really certain that a good player like him - or any other player for that matter - should be rubbed out for those sorts of things.

"If those rules are going to be enforced like they have been this year he's going to have to change the way that he plays and we'll help him work through that."

Clarkson said he had not raised the issue with the AFL because "it will come from 15 other clubs and supporters."

Meanwhile, the Hawks will face Port Adelaide - fresh from their shock loss to Richmond - at the MCG on Sunday and Clarkson said the Power's recent defeat meant little.

"They've got (Dean) Brogan back in their side - a pretty important member of their ruck division - and a couple of others back in as well.

"They'll be a formidable opponent. Their last two games have been in pretty extraordinary conditions, one in great humidity and the other in the big wet in Adelaide last week.

"We're not going to read too much into it, other than we know Port are a talented side and we've got to prepare accordingly, not focus on their two losses over the last fortnight," Clarkson said.

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