AFL 9 months ago

Cracks appear in AFL's new ruck rule

  • Cracks appear in AFL's new ruck rule

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Adelaide Crows Senior Coach Don Pyke looks on after the round 11 AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the St Kilda Saints at Adelaide Oval on June 5, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Adelaide coach Don Pyke hopes the AFL will review its new third man up ruck rule after Sunday's farcical free kick paid against the Crows.

The new rule, introduced in December, decrees only one nominated ruckman from each team may contest a stoppage - outlawing the tactic of a third player attempting to come over the top.

But Crows midfielder Dean Gore was penalised in the first quarter of his side's six-point win over Geelong after a shallow boundary throw-in hit him in the back.

Gore was shadowing Cats skipper Joel Selwood at the time and was watching rucks Rhys Stanley and Reilly O'Brien wrestle at the stoppage when the ball hit him on the full.

"It's one of the real weird ones of that rule - if the ball hits you as a midfielder, and you're around the contest, it's a free kick against," Pyke said.

"If that led to a goal ... I'd hate to see that happen in a big game.

"It seems like one of those things which is a bit of an anomaly, if you like.

"He wasn't trying to contest the ball - it was just that the ball hit him.

"Maybe it's something they'll look at. I'll leave that with the umpires."

In that situation, players other than nominated rucks can only take possession at a stoppage if the ball has bounced first - essentially requiring players to stand back and watch.

Or even worse, run away from the ball for fear of giving away a free kick.

Two frees were paid for the same infringement in Saturday's AFL Women's clash between Carlton and the Western Bulldogs at Princes Park.

In a tight match, the Dogs goaled from a free kick after the throw-in cleared the two nominated rucks and was touched first by a Blues player.

"Our girl ... actually ran away from (the ball) and it was the Carlton girl that just naturally tapped it and it's a free kick in front of goal," Dogs coach Paul Groves said.

"For us, surely it's a reset and you go again if the throw's bad. There's human error in everything, (but) just reset it - don't pay a free kick to the girl it fell on in that case.

"That will evolve; the AFL are no doubt having a look at it."

Carlton's men's side copped a 92-point belting at the hands of St Kilda in the second match of the double-header at Princes Park.

It was the Blues' second mauling in as many weeks, but defiant coach Brendon Bolton called for perspective, with some short-term pain to be expected as Carlton continued their lengthy rebuild.

Fremantle recorded their first win of the pre-season, Ed Langdon kicking a goal after the siren to sink Collingwood by two points in Mandurah.

Brisbane and Sydney also notched their opening wins of the pre-season, over the Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney respectively.

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