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AFL set to tweak new ruck rule after Crows farce


A bizarre free kick against Adelaide midfielder Dean Gore will most likely prompt a change this week to the AFL’s controversial third-man-up rule.

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AFL umpires boss Peter Schwab said the league was writing to the clubs seeking feedback on the rule tweak.

Gore was roving a boundary throw-in during Sunday’s match against Geelong when the ball hit him on the back of the head.

Under the new rule that bans the third man up at any ruck contest, he gave away a free because he made contact with the ball before it hit the ground.

Schwab said as the rule stands, the free kick against Gore was the correct call.


Dean Gore is hit with the ball from the throw-in. Photo: Twitter via FoxSports

“We’re certainly looking at that, but we’ll just get a position, talk to the clubs and then once we get their views, then we’ll look at what we do,” Schwab said.

“It doesn’t happen too often, a little bit unusual… so we’ll just be asking the clubs if the player gets hit by the ball, is passive and not looking to impact the ruck contest, should we be just calling play on?

“I think, like everyone else here, it’s more than likely that they’ll ask that change occurs.

“I don’t think anyone who’s hit by the ball in the back of the head is really looking to do that (impact the ruck contest) naturally.”

Schwab noted that there had been about 600 boundary throw-ins so far during the pre-season and this was the first time, under the new rule, that a player had been hit on the head.

The unusual free has also been paid in the women’s league.

Schwab added that boundary throw-ins were only recalled if they fell short or were off line.

He said they hoped to have club feedback in the next couple of days.

“It could change for the (pre-season), week four,” Schwab said.

But the umpires boss is happy with the new rule, which has split opinion in the game.

“I haven’t checked the clearance rates … I just seems to me it’s a lot cleaner in some ways, in the ruck contests,” Schwab said.

“The umpire doesn’t have to negotiate anything, other than watching the two ruckman compete.

“So from that point of view, it’s been better.”

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide ruck-forward Paddy Ryder is free to make his return to AFL action in round one after escaping suspension for a high bump on Richmond’s Anthony Miles.

Ryder was the only player charged by the match review panel (MRP) from week three of the pre-season series.

The rough conduct charge from last Sunday’s 28-point loss to the Tigers in Mount Gambier was assessed as careless with low impact to Miles’ head, with Ryder today accepting a $1000 fine with an early guilty plea.

The 28-year-old was among the current and former Essendon players who were hit with season-long bans in 2016 for their roles in the Bombers’ 2012 supplements scandal.

The Power play Sydney at the SCG in round one of the home and away season on March 25.

Port’s final pre-season match is against Hawthorn in Adelaide on Sunday.

The MRP withdrew a match-day rough-conduct report against Geelong’s Nakia Cockatoo after deeming the speedster’s tackle on Gore was not unreasonable.


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