Infotainment Factory: AFL rule an 'absolute disgrace': Dangerfield

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Saturday, 6 April 2019

AFL rule an 'absolute disgrace': Dangerfield


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The AFL's contentious contact below the knees rule is in the spotlight again after Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield labelled it an "absolute disgrace".

Dangerfield, who is president of the AFL Players' Association, didn't hold back when a free kick was paid against Collingwood's Tom Phillips during Saturday night's clash with West Coast at the MCG.

Jamie Cripps kicked a goal at a pivotal time in the second quarter of the meeting between last year's grand finalists, which the Eagles went on to win by 22 points.

Amid confusion from players on both sides, the Magpies' Jaidyn Stephenson incorrectly gave the ball back to Phillips after the umpire's whistle and was penalised 50m.

https://twitter.com/dangerfield35/status/1114458506956906496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"Contact below the knees.. absolute disgrace," Dangerfield initially tweeted.

"Don't put your head over the ball kids. Lower and harder... na not anymore," his follow-up tweet added.

Dangerfield's second tweet was in response to a Cameron Ling comment on the Channel Seven broadcast after Cripps went tumbling over Phillips who had gathered a loose ball in the centre square.

"I can't handle that being a free kick," retired three-time premiership-winner Ling said.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley was more diplomatic when asked about the controversial incident after the match.

"You could tell the level of confusion by the fact Stephenson thought it was Phillips's free kick and threw the ball back to him," he said.

"Then we got penalised 50m for it and that was unfortunate for us.

"There's a bit of grey area in it and I feel for the umpires because it's a hard one to officiate."

The rule was brought in to help protect players after then-Sydney forward Gary Rohan had his leg badly broken by an opponent sliding in.

But Buckley agreed there is scope for players to abuse the rule by coming in late and over the top of an opponent who has taken possession of the ball.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson also felt for the umpires, who he believes are having a tough time this season after new anti-congestion measures were adopted by the league.

"The umpires are still finding their balance, as well, with these new rules plus a few tweaks in interpretation," he said.

"It's probably taken a bit longer than normal for the umps, so we've just got to have a bit of patience and I'm sure it will settle down."

The AFL's contentious contact below the knees rule is in the spotlight again after Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield labelled it an "absolute disgrace".

Dangerfield, who is president of the AFL Players' Association, didn't hold back when a free kick was paid against Collingwood's Tom Phillips during Saturday night's clash with West Coast at the MCG.

Jamie Cripps kicked a goal at a pivotal time in the second quarter of the meeting between last year's grand finalists, which the Eagles went on to win by 22 points.

Amid confusion from players on both sides, the Magpies' Jaidyn Stephenson incorrectly gave the ball back to Phillips after the umpire's whistle and was penalised 50m.

https://twitter.com/dangerfield35/status/1114458506956906496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"Contact below the knees.. absolute disgrace," Dangerfield initially tweeted.

"Don't put your head over the ball kids. Lower and harder... na not anymore," his follow-up tweet added.

Dangerfield's second tweet was in response to a Cameron Ling comment on the Channel Seven broadcast after Cripps went tumbling over Phillips who had gathered a loose ball in the centre square.

"I can't handle that being a free kick," retired three-time premiership-winner Ling said.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley was more diplomatic when asked about the controversial incident after the match.

"You could tell the level of confusion by the fact Stephenson thought it was Phillips's free kick and threw the ball back to him," he said.

"Then we got penalised 50m for it and that was unfortunate for us.

"There's a bit of grey area in it and I feel for the umpires because it's a hard one to officiate."

The rule was brought in to help protect players after then-Sydney forward Gary Rohan had his leg badly broken by an opponent sliding in.

But Buckley agreed there is scope for players to abuse the rule by coming in late and over the top of an opponent who has taken possession of the ball.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson also felt for the umpires, who he believes are having a tough time this season after new anti-congestion measures were adopted by the league.

"The umpires are still finding their balance, as well, with these new rules plus a few tweaks in interpretation," he said.

"It's probably taken a bit longer than normal for the umps, so we've just got to have a bit of patience and I'm sure it will settle down."

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