Our tackling won't change: defiant Buckley
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 11:47 PM

 - from afl.com.au

COLLINGWOOD won't change the way it tackles, with coach Nathan Buckley saying Brodie Grundy was unlucky to leave Ben Brown concussed last Saturday, and thus be banned for two games, compared to an "identical" incident in the same game which caused no injury.

Buckley pointed to a moment when North Melbourne youngster Declan Mountford drove Jarryd Blair into the ground in the third quarter at Etihad Stadium during the Pies' win.

Blair pulled up fine and the coach said at his press conference at the Holden Centre on Thursday that he doesn't teach players to take the tackler to ground.  

"There's clearly some luck that has to do with it. There was a tackle about 10 minutes later, (a) North Melbourne player on Jarryd Blair and the mechanism was identical," Buckley said.

"The fact that you've got two less than six foot players with a combined mass of probably one of Brodie or Ben Brown versus the big bodies that were in the Grundy/Brown tackle. 'Blairy' hit his head but he wasn't concussed.

"The North player, is he lucky that Blair wasn't knocked out? I think more often you see that result where there was a really solid tackle laid. The arms are pinned because you don't want to allow your opponent to get a handball or a disposal away. That's what tackling's all about, to try and prevent disposal and earn a free kick.

"We will still be looking to grab a handle and pin an arm. We don't coach to go to ground, we don't tackle to ground at training in our tackling drills but you are trying to prevent disposal and sometimes when that wrestle ensues and the person who is tackled fights the tackle and commits everything to try getting a foot to the ball, they can be off-balance and I think thatís where we get those concussive incidences.

"At present, there's no grey area. That is all on the tackler."

Grundy was charged by the Match Review Panel for engaging in rough conduct. It was assessed as careless conduct with high impact to the head.

"Technically Brodie's tackle was exactly how we wanted (it) and at this stage, we won't coach any differently because that really is one in a thousand, one in two thousand in regards to us for the year because we've been a fair tackling team," Buckley said.

"We can be better but we've been a fair tackling team and we've been able to coach the right methods."

He said the tackling rules should be on the AFL's agenda come season's end.

"Whether that's the right way to prevent those head knocks and how many of those head knocks we're preventing by this legislation is something that will be an end of year discussion, and I look forward to being a part of that," Buckley said.

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