Chris Scott lashes out over 'dangerous' act plaguing the AFL: 'Fix it'

The aggrieved Cats coach wants the contentious act outlawed from the AFL.

Pictured left, Geelong coach Chris Scott watching his side's win in round four of the AFL.
Geelong coach Chris Scott wants the use of the knee in ruck contests stamped out of the AFL. Pic: Getty/Fox Footy

Geelong coach Chris Scott has implored the AFL to stamp out the continued instances of players using their knees to hurt opponents at ruck contests. Scott was fuming after Cats big man Mark Blicavs copped a knee to the mid-section from Hawthorn's Lloyd Meek during his side's 82-point win over Hawthorn at the MCG on Easter Monday.

Scott was incensed after Meek raised his knee and made contact with Blicavs at a centre bounce during Monday's game. Blicavs copped a blow to the ribs and underwent assessment in the change room before playing out the match, but was perhaps fortunate not to suffer a serious injury.

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A similar incident occurred late in the contest, with Hawks ruckman Ned Reeves the culprit. Both actions resulted in free kicks to Geelong, with the controversial moments coming less than a fortnight after the league sent a memo to clubs reminding them of the rules, after Cats ruckman Rhys Stanley was hurt in a similar fashion by Carlton's Tom De Koning.

"It has to be taken out of the game," Scott said in his post-match press conference. "The disappointing thing is they sent out a memo specifically two weeks ago saying that you couldn't do it and it keeps happening. It's so dangerous."

De Koning was handed a misconduct fine by the MRO before he submitted a written appeal and escaped any penalty after the charge was dismissed by the tribunal. “This was controversial at the time because Chris Scott spoke about it publicly, highlighting that can’t be acceptable for a ruck contest. There was no free kick paid that night, but he did get (punished by the MRO),” AFL great Leigh Montagna said on Fox Footy at quarter-time of Geelong's game.

“Then again in the first quarter here to Mark Blicavs. It is a very dangerous act for ruckmen. It’s certainly a talking point, particularly with Chris Scott, who’s already voiced his disapproval with that sort of action.”

Geelong's coach said the Meek incident deserved a suspension even if he didn't agree that bans were the best way to stamp the practice out of the game. Scott said in order to eradicate the contentious acts from the game, it was up to the AFL to announce a tougher crackdown.

"I don’t want to see him suspended because I don’t think it matters. If he gets a week, that doesn’t help us," Scott said. "Some will say it’ll act as a deterrent, but it shouldn’t take that. The AFL and the umpires should just be much, much clearer that you cannot do that.

“Can I emphasise it’s not about one particular player. If this was just one guy I’d be specific about it, but it keeps happening all the time. Now there are four umpires and they were the ones that sent out the memo."

Seen here, Geelong's Mark Blicavs injured during the round four AFL clash against Hawthorn at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Geelong's Mark Blicavs was injured during the round four AFL clash against Hawthorn at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Pic: Getty

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Melbourne legend Garry Lyon admitted he "hated" seeing vision of Meek using his knee in the ruck contest with Blicavs. The five-time All-Australian insisted the raising of the knee by Meek was an unnatural action and needed to be weeded out of the game to protect players from injury.

“I hated this bit of vision,” Lyon said on Fox Footy. “If this is a natural footy action, we’re in all sorts of trouble. He’s 115 kegs this bloke and you don’t get up off the ground and you go diving in with your knee like that …”

Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley challenged Lyon's view though and claimed Meek used his knee to protect himself from Blicavs. “I’ve got my old man’s words ringing through my ears and he would be talking about ruck craft and the responsibility of both ruckmen to use their knee to protect themselves,” Buckley told On The Couch. “Blicavs’ ruck craft in that particular instance has been to go two metres over the line to.... I reckon Lloyd Meek is half protecting himself.

Meek and Reeves will both come under scrutiny from the match review officer, with Scott claiming he doesn't want either of them suspended. The Geelong coach says he simply wants the AFL and umpires to "fix" the situation so it stops happening on the footy field.

"I don't want to see Tom De Koning get suspended and I don't want Meek to get suspended either, necessarily," Scott added. "I just don't want them to do it next week.

"But this tacit approval of that tactic, which happens a lot, especially when they were really specific that you can't do it ... let's just fix it."

with AAP

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