AFL chief Gillon McLachlan says you can still bump but there’s a risk to be considered

Coaches may be telling players to tackle and not bump in the wake of Patrick Dangerfield’s three-week ban, but AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says the bump isn’t dead.

Geelong superstar Dangerfield was given his suspension after a collision in the opening round last weekend with Adelaide defender Jake Kelly, when their heads clashed, left the Crow concussed.

AFL coaches have been frank this week that bumping is a risk and they want their players to tackle instead.

McLachlan said “made no apologies” for the crackdown on incidents that result in high levels of injury but said the AFL had not outlawed the bump.

“There’s a place in the game for the bump, we see a lot of bumps every weekend,” he said on Thursday.

“But there is no place in the game where the bump actually hits someone in the head. We have been very strong on this for a long period of time.

“We don’t apologise for that, now there is a strict liability rule which is clear.”

McLachlan said the clear framing of new regulations was one of the best things the AFL’s rule makers had done.

“I think the regulators, on the framing of the rule, need to be congratulated,” he said,

“It was very clear with Patrick Dangerfield on the weekend there was no malice but he elected to bump. Jake Kelly was concussed and there was going to be an accountability for that.

“That’s what I want everyone to know. You can bump, but if you hit the head you will be accountable for that.”

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says the bump is still alive. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images via AFL PhotosSource:Getty Images

McLachlan said the new medical substitute rule had worked “seamlessly” across the opening round despite some criticisms that players subbed out of games with injury could play again this week.

The AFL opted against a mandatory 12-day stand-down period, as is the case for concussion, with all subbed players.

North Melbourne’s Aidan Corr is one who could back up after being subbed out with a foot injury against Port Adelaide last weekend.

McLachlan said every instance of the medical sub being used was probed by the AFL’s integrity department, and casting aspersions on club doctors was wide of the mark.

“I have never had any reason to question the integrity of our doctors,” he said.

“If (players) are able to come back quicker, great. We hear of people being out for two months and they are back in two weeks. That’s part of football.

“I thought it went well. It was used a number of times, but some matches not at all. I thought it worked pretty seamlessly.”

Source: Read Full Article