Clarkson cool on ‘drastic’ runners rule


“But it’s a demanding game. I think it’s too drastic that we’ve gone so far with it … I just hope the game’s not worse off for going so drastic with the change.”

Clarkson compared the unique demands of Australian Rules participants to other sports around the globe where players receive regular assistance and counsel from the sidelines during matches.

“It (footy) is played on a big pitch, bigger than any pitch in the world, with the most amount of participants, the most amount of any ball sport, and for the longest duration of time,” he said.
“There are some significant demands on players.

“You’ve got other sports like basketball where they can have time-outs and gridiron where they’re miked up into helmets and they (AFL) are worried about a pink guy on the ground that you hardly see.”

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson during the game.Credit:AAP

The changes didn’t adversely affect the Hawks though who charged in with ferocity all match and refused to concede the highly-fancied Crows an inch.

“That was extremely satisfying because it’s a tough ask, particularly in round one, to have such an assignment like this, interstate (against a) high quality side,” Clarkson said.

“We needed to play some of our best pressure footy to be able to stifle Adelaide.”

The result wasn’t even the worst part of what was a forgettable day for the Crows.

Defender Tom Doedee suffered a suspected ACL injury when his left knee twisted during the second quarter, almost certainly ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

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“That (ACL) is what it sounds like, that’s what the docs said to me,” said Adelaide coach Don Pyke, who also confirmed veteran Richard Douglas is unlikely to play next Friday night against Sydney after sustaining a “syndesmosis-style” high ankle sprain in the last quarter.

“He’s disappointed. We’ve got to wait for scans but the initial signs are not great.
“As we saw with Alex Rance, these things happen in footy.

“It’s an injurious game and these things seem to continue to happen and that’s unavoidable in some cases.”

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