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AFL great David Parkin backs ‘well-thought through’ rule changes

Email AFL great David Parkin backs nine rule and interpretation changes for 2019 season

Posted October 11, 2018 18:50:47

Photo: The AFL is hopeful the rule changes will make the game more of a spectacle. (AAP: Craig Golding, file) Related Story: AFL confirms rule changes but scraps 18-metre goal square Map: Australia

The AFL has promised a "fast" and "free-flowing" game with their much-publicised rule and interpretation changes announced for the 2019 season.

Key points:

  • David Parkin believes the changes will showcase some of the unique aspects of Australian rules
  • Parkin feels the '6-6-6' rule will help reduce congestion
  • He believes the rule concerning runners will improve on-field leadership from players

Not all of the nine changes announced on Thursday have gone down well with the AFL faithful, but David Parkin is one observer who supports the league's effort to improve the attractiveness of its product.

Parkin, who won four premierships as a coach and captain, believes the AFL needs to be applauded for how it has gone about the changes.

"I'm not a great critic of what has happened, as I think the rule changes have been well-thought through," Parkin told the ABC.

"This is the best process we've ever used."

Parkin estimates there has been "58" changes to the rules in the VFL/AFL during his almost seven decades in the game.

He feels every AFL stakeholder — whether it be the players, spectators or administrators — can be satisfied the changes announced will have a positive effect.

"I am all for anything that will make it better for us who watch it, whether we are watching on television or in real life," Parkin said.

"I think we have got to make it more fun for the players because it is such a deadly serious game."

Marking contests, 50-metre penalties and the ruck were among parts of the game that will be impacted by the nine changes, but there were three that stood out for Parkin.

'6-6-6' rule set to free up play

The AFL has dictated teams must have six players inside both 50-metre arcs, with one inside the goal square, and four midfielders have to start inside the centre square, with two wingmen positioned along the wing.

The so-called 6-6-6 rule is designed to create less congestion and was discussed at length during the 2018 season.

The AFL wants positional play to take place at centre bounces. Photo: The AFL wants positional play to take place at centre bounces. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy, file)

Parkin welcomes the introduction of what the AFL described as "traditional playing positions".

"It's not going to have a dramatic effect," he said.

"Once the ball is in play players are then free to move where they want and I think it will have an insignificant effect, except to make it a bit freer at the centre bounce time."

Kick-ins rule may see a return of 'longer kicks', 'high marking'

The contentious 18-metre goal square proposal failed to get the green light, much to the delight of a significant amount of AFL supporters.

There are tweaks, however, to the kick-in rules.

Players will no longer need to kick to themselves to play on from the goal square. Photo: Players will no longer need to kick to themselves to play on from the goal square. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy, file)

A player will no longer need to kick to himself to play from the goal square, while after a behind has been scored the man on the mark will be brought out to 10 metres from the top of the goal square.

Parkin was interested by the fact the AFL resisted the move to increase the size of the square and he is hopeful the changes will see the game return to some of its "unique" features.

"They've given the fellow with the ball more opportunity to run freer, he doesn't have to touch it on his boot," he said.

"We might get what I'm hoping [will be] many more longer kicks to gain the ground toward their forward line, which may have as a side effect more high marking."

Runners 'are a waste of time'

Team runners and water carriers came under scrutiny with the rule and interpretation changes.

The AFL has stated runners now "may only enter the playing surface after a goal has been kicked and must exit before play restarts".

Chad Cornes on the field as Port Adelaide Power runner against Carlton at the MCG in 2018. Photo: Runners will have less of a role on the field in the 2019 AFL season. (AAP: Julian Smith, File)

Water carriers will not be allowed to come onto to the field of play outside of stoppages.

Parkin is a massive supporter of the changes to when a runner is allowed onto the field, having considered the role up until this point to be a blight on the game.

"If you've got good on-field leadership you don't need a runner because the players are directing that," he said.

"It will force clubs and coaches to make sure they develop thinking players on the field who can do what is required by that team.

"I think the runners are a waste of time."

The AFL community will continue to digest the changes in the build-up to next season and as it does so Parkin has spared a thought for its most maligned members — the umpires.

"We've got to make it easier to umpire because it is the most difficult game in the world to umpire," he said.

Topics: australian-football-league, sport, australia

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Goal-happy Shelmaliers win first ever Wexford SFC crown

Shelmaliers 4-14 Kilanerin 1-07

Goals at the start of either half powered Shelmaliers to a famous first-ever Wexford SFC crown at the expense of seven-time champions Kilanerin in Saturday's replay at sunny Innovate Wexford Park.

Four years after annexing their maiden county senior hurling crown, the black-and-amber dominated this rematch, with goals from Simon Donohoe, AJ Lehane, Ross Banville and Eoghan Nolan decorating their glorious breakthrough eleven years after Shelmaliers' emergence from intermediate ranks.

Shels monopolised the first-half, but kicked nine frustrating wides as they failed to put Kilanerin to bed.

Regardless, after a dream start when Simon Donohoe, their saviour from the drawn tie, netted after only 63 seconds, the winners eased ahead by 1-6 to 0-1 at half-time as Eoghan Nolan (2), AJ Lehane (3) and captain Eoin Doyle delivered.

Simon Donohoe went close to netting a second personal goal just before the interval.

But the black-and-amber did raise another green-flag within a minute of the resumption, when AJ Lehane profited after a swift move, and teenager Ross Banville got in on the goal-scoring act on 40 minutes to send Shelmaliers soaring clear by 3-9 to 0-3.

'Man of the match' Eoghan Nolan carved through for their fourth goal in the 45th-minute, and although Matty Forde pegged back a goal from a 55th-minute penalty, the Shels were already well and truly home and hosed and joining the roll-of-honour.

Shelmaliers: James Gordon, André O'Brien, James Cash, Ciarán O'Shaughnessy, Simon Donohoe (1-01), Brian Malone (0-01), Graham Staples, Glen Malone (0-01), Eoghan Nolan (1-02), Aidan Cash, Eoin Doyle (capt., 0-01), Ross Banville (1-01), Conor Hearne, AJ Lehane (1-03, 0-1f), Craig McCabe (0-02, 1f, 1pen.).

Subs: Jody Donohoe (0-01) for Banville (51); Páraic O'Leary for Hearne (55); Seán Keane-Carroll for Lehane (55); Tommy Barron (0-01) for Staples (57); Brian Murphy for Doyle (58); Cian Manley for O'Brien (60).

Kilanerin: Tom Hughes, Rhys Owley, Colm Kavanagh, Aidan Jones (capt.), Mark Boland, Gavin O'Toole, Denis Jones, Niall Hughes (0-01), Niall Breen, Peter Hughes (0-01), Dean O'Toole, Páraic Hughes, Conor Devitt, Matty Forde (1-3, 1-00 pen., 0-03fs), Seán Forde (0-01f)

Subs: Mark Gethings for S Forde (18); S Forde for M Gethings (31); Bobby Hughes (0-01) for D Jones (34); Emmett O'Toole for Peter Hughes (43); Ben O'Connor for Boland (43); Edward Hughes for Kavanagh (47);

Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).

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C’ship round-up: Lenihan’s winner downs Leeds

Republic of Ireland international Darragh Lenihan headed home the winning goal as Blackburn Rovers defeated Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United at Ewood Park.

Danny Graham opened the scoring for Rovers two minutes in, but Mateusz Klich levelled for United, who are some way off their early-season form, on the stroke of half-time.

Meath's Lenihan would win it for Blackburn, though, his header from a corner enough.

Elsewhere, Dean Smith got off to a winning start as Aston Villa manager with a victory over Swansea.

Lifelong Villan Smith swapped Brentford for the Birmingham club over the international break and had Tammy Abraham to thank as the loanee's goal earned a 1-0 win over Swansea on a day ex-Villa owner Doug Ellis was remembered.

At Griffin Park, Smith's old Brentford side were unable to mark Thomas Frank's first game in charge in similar vein.

Chris Mepham was sent off in the second half and then Niclas Eliasson scored a 90th-minute winner as Bristol City ruined Frank's day with a 1-0 win.

West Brom missed the chance to return to the top of the table as they went down 1-0 at Wigan.

The previously free-scoring Baggies, overtaken by Middlesbrough on Friday night, were denied at one end and then saw Josh Windass net a 74th-minute winner. Jake Livermore was sent off for Albion late on.

Timm Klose's brace helped Norwich come from behind to win 2-1 at Nottingham Forest, for whom Lewis Grabban had opened the scoring, while Will Vaulks' goal for Rotherham was cancelled out by Christian Doidge as Bolton secured a 1-1 draw on the road.

Gary Rowett continues to struggle for consistency as Stoke boss, Che Adams' goal ensuring former side Birmingham beat his Potters 1-0, while strugglers Hull and Preston drew 1-1, Louis Moult's goal three minutes into time added on coming after Jarrod Bowen's penalty (85) looked to have won it for City.

Yakou Meite scored a brace as Reading beat Millwall 3-1. Sam Baldock scored the other from the spot with Murray Wallace on the mark for the Lions.

An own goal from Dean Gerken and Tomer Hemed's penalty allowed QPR to win 2-0 at Ipswich.

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O’Donnell suffers suspected broken leg in Munster win

Munster coach Johann van Graan said he awaited confirmation on the exact nature of Tommy O'Donnell's injury but he said he suspected that the back row forward had suffered a broken leg.

O'Donnell was carted off just before half-time in Munster's 36-22 win over Gloucester in the Heineken Champions Cup clash in Thomond Park.

The flanker was not the only Munster player to incur an injury in the win with Dan Goggin and Rhys Marshall suffering knee and upper leg injuries respectively.

Like O'Donnell, Goggin has had rotten luck with injury, having been sidelined for five months with a knee injury at the end of last year.

Speaking afterwards, Van Graan said his side paid a heavy price injury terms in the victory over Gloucester.

"Tommy’s gone to hospital. No confirmation yet but I believe he broke his leg and Dan Goggin looks like a serious knee injury. We also lost Rhys Marshall which looks like a serious upper leg injury. We will know more on Monday."

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Gosden bags glorious Ascot hat-trick & trainers’ title

Breaking the dominance of Aidan O'Brien is a hard thing to achieve – but John Gosden proved up to the task as a scintillating treble on Qipco British Champions Day helped secure his third Flat trainers' championship.

With the coveted crown having headed to Ballydoyle for the past two seasons – and six times in total – the Newmarket handler foiled the hat-trick after taking Britain's most valuable race day by storm at Ascot to wrap up the title with more than two months remaining.

Gosden said: "I gave the cup to Aidan and he had to give it to me this year. It means a lot. I said to Aidan on 1 January 'we start with a blank sheet again, a bit like a football manager'."

Though wins for Roaring Lion in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup all but secured a first title for Gosden since 2015, the best was arguably saved until last, with Cracksman recording a brilliant second success in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

Arriving on the back of an odds-on defeat in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at the Royal meeting, the son of Frankel returned to his imperious best to take the Group One prize by six lengths, completing a double for Frankie Dettori, who was also victorious aboard Stradivarius.

Reflecting on the day, Gosden said: "Frankie, how he got through the Houdini hole on Stradivarius, I don't know.

"I thought Roaring Lion was beyond brave, as he was never enjoying the ground, but he had the guts to win it, and I thought Oisin [Murphy] was cool and didn't panic.

"Cracksman had been showing it home and the vibes were pretty strong from the work reports in Newmarket. I knew that just focus his mind and he will fly, and he literally flew. It's not a bad day to have a treble."

While most of those housed at Clarehaven Stables have played their part in some way in helping Gosden take title number three, there are several performances that particularly satisfied the trainer.

Gosden added: "I think getting Enable back was good, and getting Cracksman back is top class. That was very fulfilling, at the top level.

"To see Stradivarius going round after round is very fulfilling. It's all down to the horse, as they have got to be strong in the mind and body and we are lucky to have them."

It may be Gosden's name that appears in the headlines, but winning the championship again has been far from an individual effort in his eyes – and one that has happened through the hard work of those behind the scenes.

He said: "You are lucky that you have great owners that send you some lovely horses. I've got a wonderful staff who have worked with me for many years.

"It's a good team, as it's all on first-name terms and everyone talks to each other and everyone's ideas are discussed. It has got to be down to those three ingredients.

"There is no individual satisfaction on this horse or that. It is about trying to do the best and if it is to win a little race with a filly and make her a winner, that is very fulfilling.

"I'm just lucky to have some great staff and fabulous owners and the horses to go with it. Without them, I would have nothing."

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International rugby league live: The Kangaroos look to avoid consecutive defeats

Email International rugby league: Australia v Tonga: live scores, stats and commentary

Updated October 20, 2018 17:48:37

Map: New Zealand

Australia's Kangaroos take on the dangerous Mate Ma'a Tonga at a sold out Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, looking to avoid consecutive defeats for the first time since 1978.

Follow all the live scores, stats and commentary.

Australia v Tonga

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Topics: sport, rugby-league, new-zealand

First posted October 20, 2018 17:38:35

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