AFL 1 year ago

Goldstein shocked at AFL's third-man ban

  • Goldstein shocked at AFL's third-man ban

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: Brodie Grundy of the Magpies (L) and Todd Goldstein of the Kangaroos compete for the ball during the round 18 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on July 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Todd Goldstein was happy for the AFL to keep the third man up and said he was shocked when the tactic was banned.

Even though the star North Melbourne ruckman is seen as one of the main beneficiaries of the rule change, Goldstein said he only wanted a modification.

The league sparked plenty of debate when it announced a ban on the third man up at ruck contests, with players such as Luke Hodge and Patrick Dangerfield vocal in their opposition.

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"I was quite shocked actually when I heard it had been taken out," Goldstein told SEN.

"It had to be changed from where it was ... in terms of letting the third-up player pretty much having an open run at it, was probably not great for the game.

"I thought they might just let you block the third man up, like it used to be.

"Allowing them to have a free run and basically line up the ruckman to try and get a knee into him was getting a bit dangerous."

After making the 2015 All-Australian team and winning North's best and fairest award two years ago, Goldstein suffered a drop-off in form last season.

He struggled with a knee injury in the second half of the year.

While he says it is too early whether the third man-up ban is working, he admits the change will probably help North.

That is expected to be a big boost for Goldstein, who had a knee injury in the second half of the season and suffered a drop off in form.

"We (were) not the biggest third-man up side anyway ... it really works to our hand," he said.

"I can definitely see where it's going to help us."

Meanwhile, Goldstein said North's strong start to the pre-season is an early sign that their radical list cull late last year was justified.

North delisted veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo.

"As much as the older guys we let go were still playing well ... it was going to stop this next generation coming through," he said.

"It's definitely showing our side is a lot better than we were probably given credit for two or three months ago.

"The club didn't make a rash decision."

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