Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge slams AFL over tackling rule change

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has blasted the AFL over changing its guidelines around tackling, believing the league’s decision-makers have reacted to media criticism.

Key points:

  • The AFL announced a crackdown on playing for high free kicks
  • Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says the AFL has made the change in response to media pressure
  • Rival coaches Chris Scott and Sam Mitchell did not join Beveridge in criticising the rule change

On Tuesday, the AFL issued a warning that players would no longer be rewarded with free kicks when they ducked or shrugged their heads in tackles.

It came after heated debate surrounding young Collingwood dynamo Jack Ginnivan and whether he was being umpired differently to other players.

However, Beveridge hit out at the change, saying the AFL had caved under external pressure.

“My point of view is let’s not change the game and the interpretations that’s been there forever,” he said.

“The reason why [Geelong captain] Joel Selwood gets a lot of head-high free kicks is because he’s probably the hardest at the football, a loose ball and at a contest in the competition, so he’s rewarded for it.

Author: Ivan Robinson