Trent Cotchin leaves the ground after last week’s loss. Picture: Getty Images
Trent Cotchin leaves the ground after last week’s loss. Picture: Getty Images

Bucks knew Tigers breached new rule

RICHMOND has become the first club to break the AFL's new starting position rules when it started seven defenders at a centre bounce against Collingwood.

There were two minutes remaining in the third term on Thursday night when the Tigers mistakenly started an extra backman in the defensive 50m arc, straight after a Jack Higgins goal off the ground.

But Richmond's error was believed to have been undetected by the umpires, as Collingwood won the clearance and had a shot on goal through gun midfielder Adam Treloar.

Under new rules, teams must start six players in each of the two arcs at every centre bounce to help open up the play and increase scoring this season.

Any player found standing in the wrong position should receive a discretionary warning from the umpires, and will be asked to move into the correct 6-6-6 format.

A second offence will be penalised with a free-kick out of the centre square.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he could see the Tigers had an extra defender from the coaches' box and questioned how the umpires on the field didn't notice the breach and why there was no follow up from the AFL.

"The emergency umpire was told in no uncertain terms what was going on prior to the bounce," Buckley said.

Nathan Buckley said he was aware of the breach.
Nathan Buckley said he was aware of the breach.

"The officiating umpire in our defence was aware because there only five (Richmond) forwards and our boys were looking to get the match-ups right and they were waving their arms around.

"We haven't heard anything about it. I assume there are normal reviews that take place. If you're going to write a rule, let's apply the rule.

"I don't know if there was warning ... or whether it was reviewed and seen, and it was said 'OK, how are we going to improve our practices of seeing this in the moment?'"

Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom was seen making an inquiry to the umpires on the wing as the play unfolded late in the third term.

Umpires are meant to check both arcs to ensure teams start six players in there at every centre bounce.

Players have lauded the new starting position rules for helping create more space in the game, especially inside the centre square.

The new rules have also helped result in a drop in secondary centre bounce stoppages.

Collingwood has not made a formal complaint about the issue after taking out the win over Richmond by 44 points at the MCG.