Eagles coach bemused by ruck rule changes
Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 3:03 PM

 - from afl.com.au

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson has urged the AFL to leave the rules alone, saying he's not a fan of the new ruck rule and has no idea what it's even trying to achieve.

The League has outlawed the ‘third-man up’ scenario at ruck contests this season in a bid to protect the role of the ruckman and to try to clear up congestion.

But the rule hit controversy last week when Adelaide midfielder Dean Gore was penalised because the ball accidentally hit him on the back during a shallow throw-in.

The AFL has since promised to tweak the rule so that instances of the ball striking passive players won't be penalised again.

But Simpson couldn't help but feel a tad bemused after raising that exact point before the Gore incident even occurred.

And he is upset the third-man-up rule will be in place for the home-and-away season before being properly trialled and assessed over a full pre-season.

"I'm still trying to work out why we've brought that in," Simpson said of the new rule.

"I don't really understand the concept.

"What's the purpose of it? Is it to protect the rucks? Was that an issue at the start?

"Does it mean there's less stoppages?

"We were briefed on it, so I won't say I was in the dark.

"But these rules are brought in after the draft and trade period, so what does it mean for the recruiting and what kind of players you're looking for?"

Simpson hopes the AFL won't make many more tweaks to the rules.

"Leave them alone," Simpson said.

"I thought the standard of footy was pretty good last year, and what the Bulldogs produced was sensational for the competition.

"Strategies change, the game will evolve.

"I'd love to leave the rules alone. To protect the safety of our players - I get that a little bit. But I'm one for just leave it alone."

West Coast will unleash a near full-strength squad for Thursday's pre-season game against Melbourne at Domain Stadium.

Ruckman Scott Lycett won't feature in the match, but he's set to play for WAFL side East Perth this weekend in his first hit-out since undergoing knee surgery.

Simpson is hopeful Lycett will be fit for round one, with Jonathan Giles, Nathan Vardy, and Drew Petrie the other ruck options battling for spots.


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