Malthouse blasts interchange system - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse blasts interchange system

By Roger Vaughan 31/07/2011 08:30:47 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has again savaged the new AFL interchange system, saying two early injuries "slaughtered" Essendon at the MCG.

The Magpies rallied from 30 points down in the second quarter on Sunday to belt the Bombers by 74 points, 25.16 (166) to 14.8 (92).

Despite Essendon's early dominance, they were always going to struggle once Brent Prismall was stretchered off with a serious knee injury and Travis Colyer was also sidelined with a suspected broken ankle.

Apart from losing two of their running players, Essendon also had to deal with defender Kyle Hardingham playing most of the game with a badly corked thigh.

Malthouse has been one of the most strident critics of the new interchange system, which features three players and a substitute rather than the old unrestricted four-man bench.

He said his players were flat early and added the two Essendon injuries were the major factor in the match turning around dramatically after half-time.

"It slaughtered them. Slaughtered Essendon," Malthouse said.

"All I'm saying is the blow-out margin is unfair on Essendon.

"Fairness is supposed to be one of things why we introduced the madness of the 22nd player.

"Today was a clear illustration of the ramifications of not having more interchange players."

Told about Malthouse's comments, Essendon coach James Hird said the game had never been harder and a team needed as many fit players as possible.

Hird added under normal circumstances, Hardingham probably would not have played out the game.

Asked how big a bench he would like to see, Hird smiled and said: "eight or nine, 10 maybe? As big as possible?"

Essendon remained half a match outside the top eight and have a massive game at Etihad Stadium next Saturday night against seventh-placed Sydney.

Also on Sunday, Mark Bickley started his reign as Adelaide coach with a 32-point Showdown win over Port Adelaide.

Six days after Neil Craig resigned, the Crows won 16.15 (111) to 11.13 (79) to keep Port bottom.

The result with the biggest ramifications from this weekend was Geelong's 186-point obliteration of Melbourne on Saturday at Skilled Stadium.

The Cats' 37.11 (233) was the fourth-highest score in VFL/AFL history and Melbourne's 7.5 (47) made it the second-biggest margin.

Demons coach Dean Bailey is out of contract at the end of the season, while there was also growing speculation about the future of club chief executive Cameron Schwab.

On Saturday night, Hawthorn consolidated third spot as they beat Fremantle in the Perth wet 13.17 (95) to 6.8 (44).

The Dockers dropped from seventh to eighth as St Kilda rose to sixth with a 20-point away win over Gold Coast.

The 10.14 (74) to 6.18 (54) result extended St Kilda's winning streak to five.

West Coast led the Western Bulldogs by 50 points on Saturday at Etihad Stadium before the Bulldogs rallied and hit the lead in the final term.

The Eagles scrambled their way out of trouble to win by eight points, 15.13 (103) to 15.5 (95), and stayed half a game behind fourth side Carlton.

The Blues held off North Melbourne on Friday night for a hard-fought 18-point win, 11.14 (80) to 9.8 (62).

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