Blues to seek clarity from AFL over free kicks

Anna Harrington |

Carlton coach Michael Voss (centre) wants some clarity from the AFL over free kicks.
Carlton coach Michael Voss (centre) wants some clarity from the AFL over free kicks.

Carlton will touch base with the AFL to gain “clarity” on what should and shouldn’t be penalised after being on the rough end of a lopsided free-kick count against Gold Coast.

The Blues only had four free kicks up to three-quarter-time of Saturday’s 29-point win over Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, and ultimately lost the count 11-16.

“I will follow some up – and I don’t say that often,” Carlton coach Michael Voss said.

“I’ve never sat in here (and said that), but we’ve got some things to follow up because either clearly we’re not getting it right or we’re educating it wrong. 

“So we’ve got a couple of things to follow up, just make sure we have clarity as well that we’re seeing it the same way. 

“And I don’t sit up here and ever do that because I feel like most of it’s all in our control and I still firmly believe that. But it’s our responsibility to get clarity on where we’re unsure, and we’re unsure, so we’ll get the clarity.”

Voss wouldn’t confirm the exact nature of what he wanted to follow up.

“I’ll wait and hold and we’ll do the right channels as well because this isn’t about just focusing on that,” he said.

“It’s about taking our time, have a look through the vision, let’s be really clear. And we’ve always had really good discussions, so I can’t see that changing. 

“We’ll just probably seek a little bit more feedback this week than what we normally have.”

Suns coach Damien Hardwick lamented the lengthy time taken to pay holding-the-ball free kicks, citing a “very, very dangerous situation” when Mac Andrew tackled Charlie Curnow without reward early in the game.

Carlton's Charlie Curnow (left) and Gold Coast's Mac Andrew.
Carlton’s Charlie Curnow (left) found it difficult to break free of Gold Coast’s Mac Andrew. (Rob Prezioso/AAP PHOTOS)

Players can get hurt when a tackle lingers and they are slung as they attempt to break it, and Hardwick said umpires needed to “pay a free kick or blow the whistle”.

“What I will say is 131 effective tackles today and there were four holding-the-balls for both sides,” he said.

“We’ve just got to get on top of this because the players certainly owe each other a duty of care, but as umpires we’ve got to blow the whistle earlier.

“Because the reality is they’re putting players in a really compromising position that they could get hurt, and we don’t want that. 

“So we’ve got to look at it. We’ve got to coach it. 

“I know it’s incredibly hard, but from a player’s health and wellbeing point of view, we’ve just got to make sure for the benefit of the game that we look after the players.”

Voss noted Hardwick’s comments, but said that situation was more “philosophical” and wasn’t related to Carlton’s queries.