If the pothole isn’t dead in the AFL, it “should be”, according to Collingwood star Taylor Adams, who says the player cohort needs to look out more for each other after an opening round rife with questionable acts.
And Carlton manager Michael Voss believes the coup is ‘well and really done’, the firm bans imposed by the AFL court and continued scrutiny are ‘for the good of the game’.
Adelaide’s Shane McAdam was given a three-week ban, which the club is appealing, for a hit on GWS youngster Jacob Wehr, and Melbourne Livewire’s Kozzie Pickett was given a two-week ban for a high blow to the star of the Western Bulldogs, Bailey Smith.
A one-week suspension for Sydney superstar Lance Franklin was the third suspension imposed for the type of hit that Melbourne manager Simon Goodwin he said he told his players to avoid.
They were sentiments echoed by Voss on Wednesday morning.
If the pothole isn’t dead in the AFL, it ‘should be’ according to Collingwood star Taylor Adams, who says the player cohort needs to look out more for each other after an opening round rife with questionable acts.
And Carlton manager Michael Voss believes the coup is “well and truly done”, the firm bans imposed by the AFL court and continued scrutiny are “for the good of the game”.
Kysaiah Pickett, Shane McAdam and Lance Franklin were suspended
“What came out of washing over the last 48 hours and watching the games over the weekend… I think if you have the option to tackle or hit, then you don’t have a choice but to choose to tackle.” he said.
“I guess the confusing point is when it’s that ball in actual contention and you have five seconds to make a decision about what you do, what you choose.
“But I think if you have any choice, and there’s a clear gap between the two, then I think we would be encouraging players to tackle, not hit.”
“As our environment is changing, you have to adapt, and sometimes that comes in the form of a rule.
“I think for the sake of the game, it’s a good thing… it was probably a lot different in my day and what was acceptable back then, but we’re all a little bit wiser.”
Former Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury called for the introduction of sin bins for hitters like those that led to suspensions, and teammate Adams said they no longer had a place in the game.
“If he’s not dead, he should be,” Adams said Wednesday morning.
“I think as players we now have a responsibility to look at each other with everything that’s going on in the concussion space…we’re starting to see some of the real impacts that concussion can have on players. and I think it’s our responsibility now to take care of each other.
Bailey Smith (left) was crushed by a brutal punch from Demons star Kysaiah Pickett.
“I think if you choose to crash you have to do it right. And I agree with Simon (Goodwin), I think we should tackle rather than hit if given the chance.
“Couple of those examples over the weekend, I thought it was unnecessary.”
Adams said he had ‘never’ done any punch training in his career and said both McAdam and Pickett in particular should have tackled instead.
He said taking that action out of the game doesn’t take away the physicality of the AFL.
‘It’s not a character assassination. I don’t like the action… which must be eradicated. I think in both incidents, both players could have, instead of colliding, they could have knocked him down,” he told RSN.
‘I mean, just because we’re saying the nub is dead doesn’t mean there’s no physical contact. I mean, tackle as hard as you want within reason within the rules, and I think we need to be smarter about it.
“Let’s understand what the long-term consequences are for guys and make sure we have a duty of care to make sure we don’t put players in a situation Bailey found himself in. Those two incidents could have been really messy.
“I think we can be physical without crashing, particularly in those circumstances when the player is a little off guard, head on and in a really vulnerable position.”
‘We never train how to crash. I think the bulge has been more or less eradicated. These incidents are obviously atypical, and I think they should be addressed.’