Debate rages as league considers ‘last touch’ rule, Hardwick lashes out at brutal Bolton taunt

The AFL is considering whether to make another major rule change for the 2023 season, said football general manager Brad Scott.

Speak with 7 NewsScott unveiled a proposal to introduce a ‘last touch’ rule, in an effort to further reduce congestion and improve the flow of the game.

The rule has been trialled in the SANFL since 2016 and in the AFLW in 2018 – though not within the 50m arcs in the latter – and Scott said its success there has sparked thoughts of expanding it further.

Under current interpretation, SANFL players are penalized if a kick or handball goes over the boundary line without the ball being touched by another player.

“It seems quite universal that it has been a positive change. It’s fair to say that the AFL is looking very closely at what the SANFL is doing with the latest removal,” Scott said.

The merits of the proposal have been quickly discussed in the football world, with former player, AFLW coach Daniel Harford expressing his support.

“I think it’s a no-brainer. Bring it in,” Harford, who coaches Carlton in the women’s league, said on RSN 927.

“It takes away a lot of confusion and gets rid of all that animosity with insufficiently conscious decisions.

“I really like it. I’m a last-touch guy.”

Controversial commentator Kane Cornes is also a known proponent of the rule, having suggested last May that the rule’s success in the SANFL could see it coming in the AFL as well.

“I was really against it when it first came into the SANFL. I thought it was kind of like Mickey Mouse,” Cornes said at the time. SEN SA Breakfast

“But the more I’ve seen it and the more ridiculous the interpretation has become at the AFL level, the more I think it needs to get in.

“The AFL has been eyeing it for a while, they are clearly cracking it on purpose. Just to clear up any confusion.

“It’s all about making it easier for the umpires and we’ve made it harder. This clears up any confusion – the last possession outside the borders.

“I think we’re headed that way.”

However, another former player in Adam Ramaunaskas is not so sure. The rule’s impact in reducing throw-ins at the boundary would reduce the need for ruckmen and elite clearance-winning midfielders in the modern game.

“It’s part of our game. Last night [Richmond vs Carlton]Dion Prestia had 13 approvals… it takes away that element of skill,” Ramanauskas continued RSN 927

Field referee Jacob Mollison walks off the field

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Hardwick, teammates unimpressed by Bolton’s brazen taunt

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says Shai Bolton’s mockery of Carlton’s Sam Docherty “isn’t what we’re all about”, while the Tigers star’s team-mates weren’t impressed either.

Bolton mockingly held the ball to Docherty as he ran into an open goal in the final run of Richmond’s win on Thursday night, sparking booing from Carlton fans.

Addressing the media after the match, Hardwick was definitive in labeling the incident as ‘not a great look’.

“He made a mistake, it’s not us. That is not our concern,” said the coach.

‘He will no doubt regret it – he will be responsible and responsible for it. It certainly isn’t part of who he is and what we are.

“So we are disappointed, but we will work our way through it and support him. He will learn from it.

“It’s not a great look. That’s not what we stand for.”

Tigers winger Kamdyn McIntosh and co-captain Toby Nankervis also commented on Bolton’s act, with McIntosh particularly nervous as the goalsneak star had squandered a number of opportunities from similar positions against Port Adelaide the week before.

“I was kind of like, he has to kick this and we better win the f-ing game too!” McIntosh told Fox Footywhile Nankervis suggested that Bolton had ‘crossed the line’.

“He is” [Bolton] a great player and he plays with a lot of flair, but I was a little concerned,” Nankervis told ABC Tribune after the match.

“There were still 15 odd minutes to go, so I wouldn’t do that, and I don’t think Shai would have done that if he’d had his time again.

“We want to be a very humble football club that plays footy the right way and I like the way Shai plays the game, and maybe that went a bit too far.”

‘You’d hope it was final’: Voss unsure about crucial score assessment

Carlton coach Michael Voss has diplomatically objected to a critical scoring review that overturned a Blues goal during the final quarter of their loss to Richmond, saying the goal “didn’t seem touched”.

Jack Newnes’ snap appeared to have narrowed the margin to just three points, but the ARC determined that Tiger Nathan Broad had a finger on the ball.

The decision was controversial enough that former great Jason Dunstall admitted he was “stunned” by the call.

“I had a hard time figuring out how they came to the decision they made,” Dunstall said on Fox Footy

“I’m not saying it’s wrong, but if this is the shot they’re making it out of – and we believe it is – then I have a hard time understanding that this is definitive proof. Because all his fingers wiggle, they wiggle before going up!

“I don’t really see the ball hitting or bending a finger, which I thought was very special. And then she [Richmond] go straight down the other side and they kick a goal.”

After the game, Voss described it as a “very big moment” in the game.

I think it should be final, don’t you?” he said.

“If you’re going to make decisions like that in matches, you hope it’s final. I think I now have the luxury of sitting back and making my own judgment with it slowed down a bit.

“Obviously we want to make sure we are absolutely 100 percent sure before knocking down something like that. Clearly the call has been made and we have to live with the result.

“It didn’t look like it” [touched] from where I was, but I don’t look at the different angles. I have one and have looked at it. If it’s touched, we’ll move on.”

Broad, however, remains adamant that he did indeed hit the ball, as teammate Nick Vlastuin tells Fox Footy after the game how confident the defender was.

“Broady ran out and said ‘I told you, I told you dicks’! He was absolutely adamant,” laughed Vlastuin.