Daniel Kerr
Daniel Kerr

Veteran West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr has urged AFL umpires to pay closer attention to tagging tactics, saying players are unfairly getting blocked off the ball.

Kerr has been the recipient of a heavy tag in recent weeks despite his own indifferent form and has typically taken a physical beating during those contests.

Never was that more evident than during Sunday's 30-point win against St Kilda, in which Kerr recorded just seven kicks as a result of Clint Jones' tagging job, though his team-mates did enough to keep the Eagles top of the ladder with their seventh win from eight games.

The 29-year-old said it was not tagging in general that he had a problem with, but called for those who prevent their opponent from entering a contest with their body to be penalised.

Kerr, who said he was continually 'dumbfounded' that teams were sending their best taggers to him instead of in-form youngsters like Scott Selwood or Luke Shuey, said there needed to be more of a focus on those tactics.

"There's probably two different rules, one for when the ball's in the forward line and people getting blocked when they're leading and then people getting blocked when they're going for the football (in the midfield)," he said.

"It's more when you're trying to play the ball at the stoppage and people are impeding your run from front on. I don't mind it when it's side on or they're behind you, but when someone's facing you at a stoppage I don't think it's legal.

"If you're facing a forward when they're trying to lead, it's an automatic free kick and I don't see any difference.

"I definitely think that needs to be looked at more."

Despite his frustrations, Kerr said he had not considered taking the matter up with the umpires because they would not listen to him.

But his annoyance could step up a notch after this weekend as he faces a potential match-up against noted Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley, whose tactics drew the Twitter ire of Gary Ablett last month.

Kerr acknowledged if he did get a tagger it would be Crowley, but suggested the eighth-placed Dockers would be wiser to use their defensive specialist on someone else given his mediocre form this season.

"Going on form I wouldn't tag me ... but going on form I wouldn't have had a run-with player with me for the last month," he said.

"Some of our young guys are flying and I think sometimes I almost get tagged on what I used to be able to do.

"My form this year, in my view, is pretty ordinary."

West Coast will be trying to win their third consecutive Western Derby on Sunday in a game where John Worsfold will break Mick Malthouse's record for most games as Eagles coach.


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