Eagles’ free-kick tactic queried in AFL

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North Melbourne coach Brad Scott weighed into West Coast’s ability to draw free kicks after the Eagles won their AFL match by 25 points.

The Eagles overcame a long injury list to beat the Kangaroos on Sunday at Patersons Stadium 17.18 (120) to 15.5 (95) to be the only unbeaten team after six rounds.

While the number of scoring shots – 30 to 20 – indicate West Coast deserved the win, the free kick count was 29-15 their way.

A few days after being warned for approaching the umpires at the end of a match, Scott avoided a near-certain fine by not commenting specifically about his team’s free kick treatment against the Eagles.

But he noted how well some West Coast players are able to duck their heads to draw frees.

The Eagles have now received 52 more free kicks than their opponents this season.

“Most of the free kicks are there for the high contact and we spoke at length about Ashton Hams and the way he draws free kicks,” Scott said.

“We spoke about the technique and I would not like our players to get a reputation for doing that.

“The umpires call it as they see it. There is a specific technique that is employed and there is a specific technique to counter that.

“Too many times today they employed their technique and we did not employ ours.”

Richmond finally broke through for their second win of the season, beating Port Adelaide on Sunday at AAMI Stadium by 37 points.

Tigers key forward Jack Riewoldt kicked four goals in Sunday afternoon’s 13.13 (91) to 8.6 (54) win.

Carlton easily beat Greater Western Sydney by 67 points at Etihad Stadium, but Blues coach Brett Ratten gave his side only five out of 10 as they won 15.20 (110) to 6.7 (43).

Playing his first game for GWS, former Carlton key forward Setanta O’hAilipin hurt his knee and might need a season-ending reconstruction.

The Crows continued to impress on Saturday night at the SCG with their 15.9 (99) to 14.10 (94) win over the Swans, ending Sydney’s unbeaten start.

Adelaide forward Taylor Walker leads the AFL goalkicking with 20 after kicking five against the Swans, while Sydney star Adam Goodes limped off with a leg injury.

Hawthorn bounced back with a vital 35-point win over St Kilda at the MCG.

Cyril Rioli was best afield with six goals and fellow Hawks star Lance Franklin kicked 5.6 in the 18.15 (123) to 13.10 (88) win.

Gold Coast nearly staged a major upset for their first win of the season at home on Saturday against Fremantle.

But the Dockers finished better to win by seven points, 14.10 (94) to 14.3 (87).

The other two Saturday afternoon matches were all one-way traffic, with Essendon smashing Brisbane 19.15 (129) to 9.8 (62).

Geelong were always in control and won 17.17 (119) to 11.10 (76).

Collingwood had a hard-fought 22-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

The Magpies pulled clear in the final term to win 15.8 (98) to 11.11 (77).

© AAP 2014
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