Ban highlights ‘confused’ tackle rule

Nathan Van Berlo says said Taylor Walker has the team’s support for his aggressive tackling.ADELAIDE Crows captain Nathan Van Berlo lashed out yesterday at the AFL’s decision to suspend teammate Taylor Walker, saying the league’s approach to sling and spear tackles had left players confused and uncertain.
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Van Berlo said he had not seen the incident in slow motion, but the three-match penalty was nevertheless disappointing.

“It [the tackle] was a perfect example of players and umpires not too sure on where the line is. He [Walker] is awarded a free kick and gets a shot at goal for what seemed to be a fairly aggressive tackle, one that obviously seemed deemed to be within the rules,” he said.

“I dare say the AFL is going to keep looking at ways to make the rule clearer. I guess at the moment players have to be aware that tackles are going to be heavily scrutinised.”

Van Berlo said Walker had the team’s support for his aggressive tackling. “We are certainly going to keep praising him for his development in that area and encourage him to keep pursuing to be an aggressive forward. That’s what we ask of our forwards every week; to tackle aggressively, to chase hard and he’s certainly done that for us.

Port Adelaide captain Dom Cassisi said he could sympathise with Walker. “You can see how it is tough for the umpires. It is tough for the players, in the heat of the battle, to make the right decision when you go to tackle someone,” he said.

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