‘That’s ugly’: AFL greats slam deal with in Aaron Naughton harm

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Bulldog Aaron Naughton suffered a probably critical harm in Thursday night time’s loss to the Swans in a horror deal with that drew a fierce response from followers and specialists.

Early within the second quarter of the Marvel Stadium conflict Sydney would win 16.6 (102) to 12.16 (88), Swan Lewis Melican had his legs round Naughton and grabbed his proper arm as he pulled him down onto the turf.

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Naughton, who had possession of the ball on the time, instantly screamed out in ache and was ultimately helped from the bottom, unable to place any weight on his proper leg.

There have been fears the 24-year-old, who signed a whopping eight-year contract extension in 2023 that begins subsequent yr, had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

“Usually when it’s that instantaneous ache … fingers crossed it’s not what all of us suppose it’s,” Dale Thomas mentioned in commentary.

That harm would result in a yr out of the sport, though the Bulldogs had been “optimistic” Naughton had averted an ACL harm and would await the outcomes of scans on Friday.

However the method of Melican’s deal with was rapidly being recognized throughout the game.

It was paying homage to the notorious “hip drop” deal with that has risen to prominence within the NRL.

Outlined as occurring when a participant “drops their physique weight onto an opponent’s legs in such a method as to represent an unacceptable threat of harm”, it was outlawed within the NRL in 2020 and America’s NFL adopted swimsuit in March this yr.

Fox Footy’s Sarah Jones began the dialog throughout halftime of Thursday’s conflict, stating: “David King, you need to have one other have a look at the Aaron Naughton harm, the tactic of the deal with issues you.”

King, a two-time premiership winner with North Melbourne, laid down his ideas on the attainable outcomes of the approach.

“It’s been outlawed within the NRL,” he started. “The hip drop deal with, the place you set all of your weight on the again legs to take a participant down.

“It causes critical trauma and large harm.

“Now these are the unintended penalties of not having the ability to dump or the umpire not blowing the whistle fast sufficient, however take a look in any respect the load undergo the decrease leg.

“It both snaps legs, it’s obtained syndesmosis written throughout it, it’s obtained ankle breaks, it’s obtained knee trauma, it’s the one they hate within the NRL.

“And I feel we have to have a take into consideration this. I don’t have the reply, however we’ve obtained to recognise that that is no good for our recreation.”

Jason Dunstall replied: “We’re not NRL. We don’t see a lot of this.

“However in case you’re not allowed to throw him to the bottom, not allowed to tug him straight down, what are you allowed to do? We are able to’t play contact.”

King then reiterated that he doesn’t have the answer, however confused it’s not an excellent search for the sport.

“I get it. I don’t have the reply. However if you make these different guidelines, these are the unintended penalties,” he mentioned, after the AFL cracked down on a variety of tackles, predominantly to guard gamers’ heads.

“I do suppose the umpire must blow his whistle rather a lot faster to save lots of the drop.

“That’s the one change I might make, however that’s a damaged leg daily of the week.”

Former St Kilda defender Leigh Montagna added: “Yeah that’s ugly, we don’t need to see any of that.

“However we’ve seen quite a lot of tackles the place gamers have tried to do the proper factor and be light.

“However the umpires have allow them to play and it’s allowed the opposition participant to get the ball out.”

In a single constructive end result within the early phases since Naughton’s harm, the Bulldogs’ basic supervisor of soccer Matthew Egan mentioned the preliminary prognosis was encouraging.

“Clearly disappointing, in a freakish deal with his leg obtained caught and obtained twisted,” Egan mentioned on Channel 7.

“We’re fairly optimistic it’s not his ACL. We’ve simply obtained to attend for scans tomorrow.”

On a tricky night time for the Canines, Ed Richards and teen Anthony Scott had been each dominated out through the recreation with head knocks.

Followers vented their emotions concerning the Naughton deal with on social media, with many saying it needs to be banned or include a suspension.

“Terrible deal with. Gamers proceed to take a seat on opponents legs whereas tackling them. Shocked we don’t see extra accidents,” was one touch upon X.

“Can finish folks’s careers tackling like that. Disgusting,” wrote one other.

“Hip drop deal with. Atrocious. Needs to be weeks. Canine act!!” declared a 3rd.

Some Bulldogs followers had been fast to supply their assist to Naughton, the membership’s main goalkicker in every of the previous two seasons.

“He can have my good knee, I don’t want it,” wrote one.

“Sawing off my very own knee for him now, (be proper again),” quipped one other.

With out their key ahead, the Bulldogs took the battle as much as the present ladder-leaders, taking a four-point lead into halftime.

The flag fancy Swans put their foot down after the lengthy break, constructing a five-goal lead late within the ultimate time period.

The brave Canines stormed again to path by simply eight factors within the dying minutes earlier than the Swans steadied to safe a seventh straight win and transfer to 10-1 for the yr.

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