Round 10 of the AFL was one of quality football, some stirring upsets and celebration, as the AFL held the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round. Here are four things we learned.
The high tackle rule needs to be adjusted
Players being awarded free kicks after ducking, shrugging or dropping their heads or bodies is back in the spotlight after North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas won a number of free kicks against Sydney on the weekend.
Thomas kicked two cheap goals after dropping his body in the tackle that resulted in high contact on his body.
While Thomas, and other repeat offenders such as Allen Christensen and Paul Puopolo, are playing within the rules of the game, it is a bad look for AFL.
It is setting the wrong example for young children watching the matches, who should be being taught to keep their feet and stay strong in tackles.
Instead of rewarding the person being tackled with a free kick once they have shrugged or dropped, the rule should change to it being play on, ensuring the tackle is reasonable.
That would stop this blight on our game.
It’ll be very difficult to pick the Rising Star winner
No one should envy the NAB Rising Star selection panel this year, there is that much young talent on show it will be very difficult to pick.
We’re less than halfway through the season and it is already obvious it will be a tight call, with many of the first or second year players having big impacts on their teams.
Number one draft pick Jacob Weitering, New South Wales boys Jacob Hopper and Callum Mills and even the Round 10 nominee, Port’s Darcy Byrne-Jones, have all influenced their team since the beginning of the season.
At Essendon alone there are three contenders, with Darcy Parish, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Orazio Fantasia having terrific starts to the year.
With such a wide range of talented players to choose from for this award, whoever wins will definitely have earned it.
Carlton’s pressure is the best it’s been in years
Carlton has been the surprise packet of the year so far, and it is largely due to a dramatic increase in tackling pressure across the ground.
Not many would have expected the Blues to have won half their games at this point in the season, the improvement in the team is massive.
It isn’t just their well known talents standing up like skipper Marc Murphy, young gun Patrick Cripps and a man in career best form, Bryce Gibbs.
It is everyone across the field that is applying manic pressure to the opposition ball carrier that is forcing turnovers.
Even big man Matthew Kreuzer chased an opponent so hard on the weekend he forced a turnover.
Carlton has been unable to do this in the last few season and the fact they are doing so now is a big part of the dramatic improvement.
Eddie Betts lifts the Crows, and their crowd, like no one else
The atmosphere at Adelaide Oval is generally one of the best in Australia when 50,000 passionate fans pack out the redeveloped oval.
However, when Eddie Betts gets his hands on the ball in front of a roaring Adelaide Crows crowd, it is almost impossible to beat.
Wearing a guernsey designed by his aunty as part of Indigenous round, Betts sparked his team to a brilliant win over one of the competitions in-form teams, Greater Western Sydney.
No moment was better than the goal he kicked in the third quarter from one of his beloved Adelaide Oval pockets, where he trapped the ball on the boundary line, avoided GWS players and curled the ball for a goal.
The Adelaide crowd erupted in celebration and the atmosphere became even better as many believed they had just witnessed the goal of the year.
Written by Kirralee Thomas @kirralee_thomas