Some players unlucky in tackle crackdown: Goodwin

Simon Goodwin has warned the tribunal collateral damage will keep coming as AFL players rush to re-learn their tackling techniques.

Four players are challenging their one-game bans this week at the tribunal as the competition continues to reel from the league’s crackdown this season on dangerous tackles.

The Melbourne coach says while players adjust some who are penalised are simply unlucky.

Asked on Tuesday if he thought the tribunal decisions around dangerous tackles were murky, Goodwin replied: “They’re becoming clearer. You just can’t take the guy to ground with any force at all.

“We’ve had our own experiences in this space. So we as an industry need to do it better – that’s the information we’re getting from the AFL.”

Goodwin acknowledged it is challenging for the players to adjust but said there is no choice as the AFL continues to tighten rules around head-high contact.

“That’s why you’re seeing at the moment there are guys who you’d say are unlucky, because they have trained a certain way,” he said.

“We are training different techniques to make sure we do it the right way and that will take some time.

“In the meantime, we’ll probably have a number of guys who get suspended along the journey, inadvertently, by accident. We understand that as well.”

Geelong coach Chris Scott said on Monday he has found some tribunal instructions around dangerous tackles “confusing”, but added players must “get with the program”.

“They understand that (the AFL) are going to iterate around these incidents and get it to a point where there is more clarity,” he said.

Scott likened the crackdown on dangerous tackles to the AFL’s efforts to stamp out high contact in bumps

But he added the instruction from the tribunal is “very confusing”,

“They’re trying to say, ‘If you tackle a player in a split second and you realise that you have an arm pinned, you’ve got to let it go before he hits the ground irrespective of whose momentum’s taking the player forward’.

“Players can’t do that.”


Roger Vaughan and Shayne Hope
(Australian Associated Press)


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