Rushed behinds have AFL talking

It’s the memo that has changed football and not everyone is happy.

A tweak in the umpires’ interpretations for the rushed behind has AFL players and coaches catching up.

In the build-up to round nine, the AFL informed each club rushed behinds would be treated as strictly as the deliberate out-of-bounds rule.

On Saturday night, Fremantle defender Lee Spurr was pinged for soccering a behind under little pressure.

The rarely-seen infringement came out again on Sunday afternoon at the MCG, when Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley ran the ball over the line with closest opponent Nathan Jones little more than a spectator.

Melbourne coach Paul Roos said he wasn’t a fan of the new ruling or the mid-season change.

“Maybe I missed the memo,” he said.

“I thought we were going to look at the end of the year … I was confused.

“I thought (Brisbane) were really stiff. I don’t like it.

“I don’t think you can make changes like that in the season. Maybe if it’s obvious.”

Leppitsch, who also missed the note from head office, said he tuned into the changing wavelengths of umpires by watching the opening game of each round.

“When you watch Friday night football it rings in your ears as a coach; the umpires are calling this one this week,” he said.

“There seems to be a new (rushed behind) ruling overnight. I didn’t get that memo.

“Obviously in the past that wasn’t paid and nor was the one last night.

“I’m happy with the new adjudication as long as we’re consistent with it going forward.”

Richmond were the beneficiaries of the interpretation change on Saturday night and Damien Hardwick said he was “all for it”.

“We saw the memo during the week and we thought there might be a few (called),” Hardwick said.

“I think it keeps the game alive.

“I think the deliberate out of bounds has been fantastic for the game. It’s probably one of those ones that is going to take a bit of getting used to, but I think the overriding concept is very good.”

Roos also took umpires to task for a dodgy score review which saw Christian Petracca robbed of a goal.

“I looked at the replay and I don’t know how you can pick it from the replay,” he said.


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