Hawks blast Eagles for ducking tactics

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    He stopped short of calling it cheating, but Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has expressed his distaste over the AFL tactics West Coast players are using to win free kicks for high tackles.

    The Selwood brothers – Adam, Scott and Geelong’s Joel – have become renowned for their ‘shoulder shrug’ technique, which often leads to a tackler’s arms slipping high.

    The shrug-and-duck tactic is catching on quickly at the Eagles, who used it to good effect in Saturday night’s five-point win over the Hawks in Perth.

    West Coast won the free-kick count 33-23, with the Hawks penalised for a series of head-high tackles in the slippery conditions.

    Clarkson denied his team had a tackling technique problem, and instead pointed the finger at West Coast’s players for their questionable tactics.

    “I don’t think it’s a technique thing with us, I think it’s a technique thing with them,” Clarkson said.

    “They shrug the tackle and get high tackles better than any club in the competition.

    “(Ashton) Hams, (Scott) Selwood, (Daniel) Kerr, (Matt) Priddis, these type of guys shrug their shoulders.

    “Young (Scott) Selwood has probably learned it from his brother (Adam).

    “They’re outstanding at it and so is Joel.

    “The free kicks were there but for mine, it’s just like ducking your head.

    “You’re trying to shrug the tackle and your tackle starts off as being chest high or waist high and with the shrug it happens to get them around the neck.

    “They’ve contributed to that and I reckon it’s something that we need to look at.

    “They’ve been taking full advantage of it for a long period of time and we’ve either got to join them or get the rule changed. I think we’ve probably got to join them.”

    Clarkson was confident defender Grant Birchall, who missed the 5.21 (51) to 5.16 (46) loss to West Coast with a knee injury, would be fit to take on Sydney in Tasmania next Sunday.

    But skipper Luke Hodge (calf) may be eased back through VFL ranks.

    West Coast coach John Worsfold was quietly confident Luke Shuey would be fit for next Sunday’s clash with Richmond at Eithad Stadium despite the star midfielder damaging the AC joint in his right shoulder.

    Shuey played out the match with the injury, but was in obvious pain every time he received contact to the joint.

    “We’ll still do all the precautionary work of scans to make sure we know what the issue is,” Worsfold said.

    The Eagles failed to kick a goal in the opening half against the Hawks, but still managed to notch their fourth straight win of the season and maintain top spot on the table.

    Hawks forward Lance Franklin had another wayward night with 1.6, but Clarkson said the slippery conditions played a big role in his inaccuracy.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 11:35am
      Australian Rules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 11:35am | ! Report

      I’ve been watching this and it’s cheating.

      When the ball carrier shrugs his shoulders or drops his knees, the tackler cannot possibly win.

      It’s been quietly creeping into the game and the AFL needs to wipe this out quickly.

      If a ball carrier manipulates the tackle so as to render a legal tackle an illegal tackle, that is cheating.

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 1:11pm
        me, I like football said | April 23rd 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

        It’s not cheating if it’s within the rules

        • April 23rd 2012 @ 1:56pm
          Australian Rules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

          Gaining advantage via deceptive means treads awfully close to cheating in my book.

          How is it different to diving in soccer?

          • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:19pm
            Nathan of Perth said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            Because it gets your head ripped off?

            • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:35pm
              Australian Rules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

              If it does, then blame rests with the ball carrier who slips deliberately lower into the tackle.

              • April 23rd 2012 @ 5:59pm
                Nathan of Perth said | April 23rd 2012 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

                Willing to go harder than the other guy, isn’t this what AFL is supposed to be about?

              • April 23rd 2012 @ 7:22pm
                Australian Rules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

                “Going harder” is not shrugging the shoulders to attract a free kick.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 12:59pm
      johno said | April 23rd 2012 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

      How many ducks could a Selwood duck if a Selwood could duck ducks?

      Maybe this is why Troy selwood had to end his career prematurely due to too many concussions? I hate what they do, it is unsporting and it is ugly to watch.

      the tackler should be penalised for a poor tackle, not a well executed one that is maniupulated into a high tackle. Umpire should say play on in every instance of a “Selwood”.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 1:07pm
      Kev said | April 23rd 2012 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

      This is no better than diving head first at a players legs with the aim of milking a free kick. By all means penalize high contact but if the ball carrier contributes to it by shrugging his shoulders in order to turn a good tackle into a high one then it should be play on.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 2:25pm
      micka said | April 23rd 2012 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

      Jeez Clarko, a good coach might take this into account if it is such a regular problem and coach his players to tackle lower on the body of the opposition. If you can get to their shoulders you can get to their waist and hips (and deliver a better tackle while at it).

      I’ll support the duck being made against the rules when Clarkson supports the rules that are already in place which most would agree “should” stop Buddy running 5m off the side of the mark when taking set shots.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 2:47pm
      platnumryder said | April 23rd 2012 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

      Last time i checked clarkson won a premiership by cheaply conceding points. wat a hypocrite.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:21pm
      Nathan of Perth said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

      Well, I suppose it is easier to complain about other teams avoiding or invalidating your tackling than it is to coach players to tackle better.

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