The Northern Territory news Tue 16 Mar 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
TUESDAY MARCH 16 2021 SPORT 37 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA SUB-STANDARD SOLUTION COLLINGWOOD vice-captain Jeremy Howe says a concussion sub would be fairer for AFL teams but worries about the kids who will miss VFL game time because they are needed to warm the bench. The AFL was on Monday night considering a proposal that would be put to the AFL Commission ahead of Thursday nights Richmond-Carlton season opener. That AFL football depart ment recommendation has to be ratified by the Commission in an unusually late vote only days ahead of the AFL season. Under the AFL model proposed by Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, only players 21 and under would be used as concussion subs to ensure young kids were blooded. But it would also rob many debutants of the rite of passage that sees them guaranteed most of a game when first called up. In the 2011-2015 seasons the AFL had an injury substitute to ensure teams still had a chance when they lost a player to injury early in a game. One hundred and forty players made their debut in that time as the substitute, some of whom only came onto the ground midway through the last quarter. The league would have to decide if a player used as the concussion sub on debut who did not come onto the ground had even officially played an AFL game. Howe said on Monday he agreed with the principle behind protecting players brains but believed there were questions that needed to be worked through. I think in terms of fairness if you lose a bloke within the first 30 seconds you can have someone to replace them, its good but I feel for the sub who sits on the bench and doesnt play, he said. I like the idea of having a concussion sub for fairness of the game and trying to get someone in so you are not one (man) down but its hard. I feel for the guy if he is on the cusp of playing and he doesnt play as the sub so you are losing a week to prove yourself and even just playing footy because thats why we all do this. Its a tough spot to be in because you would almost have to bank on saving a player a week just to be sitting on the sidelines. If you are a sub, does that count as games played? If you were in as a sub in the old days you would get on. Howe says he realised why the new 12-day concussion protocol wais in the game, given the legal and medical implications of players getting repeat or sub-concussions. But he knows the live execution of that 12-day protocol will be filled with tough decisions. As we learn more and more about concussion it gets a bit scarier as we find out more details, he said. JON RALPH ADELAIDE defender Tom Doedee has declared himself ready to go for Round 1 and its an announcement at just the right time. Doedee, who has played just 10 games over the past two years, was battling a groin complaint that looked to further rob an already depleted line-up of senior talent to take on Geelong. With Daniel Talia sidelined, Doedee, who battled hamstring injuries last season, amped up his training with a hitout against Norwood recently and said hes ready to go. The final tick will come after Tuesday and Thursday training sessions. I feel comfortable I can play. The danger is load wise whether my body is ready for it whether I can perform at the level, Doedee said. I feel like I can. Im always going to feel like I am ready to go. Doedee agreed it could be a baptism of fire for a host of Adelaide defenders trying to stop last years Grand Finalists. We wouldnt have it any other way, Doedee said. Weve built this group up to be pretty young and hungry. Doedees feline fine for Crows RUSSELL GOULD Bartel to Cats: Embrace the hype GEELONG premiership champion Jimmy Bartel has called on his former side to embrace the external expectations that will follow them in 2021, after an off-season recruiting spree that lured three high-profile players to the club. The Cats begin their premiership campaign on Saturday against the Crows at Adelaide Oval and sit second on the line of betting with major bookmakers, just behind reigning premiers Richmond. Bartel said Geelong needed to accept that its recruiting haul of Jeremy Cameron, Isaac Smith and Shaun Higgins meant it must deliver a premiership for the year to be deemed a success. Embrace it, take it on, Bartel told RSNs The Breakfast Club. I dont get this defensive nature they have taken already, (saying) lets get it out there, its not premiership or bust. What is wrong with saying that it is? That (not putting yourself out there) is weak, that is not taking the challenge on. Geelong plays just one finalist from 2020 in the opening five matches of the year a home game against the Brisbane Lions in Round 2. Bartel believes transition work is key for the Cats this year, and that young speedster Jordan Clark could be a major asset to Chris Scotts teams hopes this year. LACHIE YOUNG Jimmy Bartel. NO BARRIER TO ROUND 1 THE AFL is free to play Round 1 with borders open across the country despite West Australian Premier Mark McGowans threat to close them again at any time. Victorians are allowed to fly into WA without quarantine, with the timing of that decision on Monday easing AFL fears about an interrupted Round 1. Despite COVID-19 cases in NSW and Queensland over the weekend, McGowan said on Monday those states remained very low risk. It means Gold Coast will be able to fly to Perth to take on West Coast on Sunday despite new cases increasing to three in Queensland on Monday. AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Monday all AFL and AFLW matches were scheduled to go ahead. McGowan said on Monday both Queensland and NSW were low risk. RICHMOND captain Trent Cotchin says he would love to have more fans in the stands at the MCG on Thursday night, but is excited to play in front of the biggest crowd the Tigers have had in 18 months, regardless. Pressure is mounting on the Victorian government to lift capacity, with business groups pushing for 75 per cent capacity and Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett saying the ground should be full after a lengthy COVID-19-free run in the state. The current cap on crowds for Round 1 games in Victoria is 50 per cent, meaning only 50,000 fans can attend the Tigers season-opener against Carlton at the MCG. The biggest crowd Richmond played in front of last year was in the Grand Final at the Gabba, which 29,707 fans attended. I know everyone keeps talking that its a reduced capacity (at the MCG), but its actually more than we had at the Grand Final last year, Cotchin said. So its incredibly exciting for us and hopefully we fill as many seats as we are allowed to. As long as theres safety measures in place and everyone feels safe to attend and cheer loud as they normally do, the more the merrier. We both have big fan bases and we want to get as many of those in there watching what they love watching. Richmond and Carlton drew a Round 1 crowd of 85,016 people when they met in 2019. Cotchin said that playing in front of crowds of that size felt like a long time ago. Weve sort of forgotten how loud both of our crowds can be, he said. That (an increased crowd) would be incredibly exciting and the G, for whatever reason, always has that extra little bit of a buzz and sends chills down the back of your spine as well. COTCHIN HUGE FAN OF PACKED MCG STANDS CHRIS CAVANAGH Carltons Sam Docherty and Richmonds Trent Cotchin at Melbourne Airport ahead of their AFL clash at the MCG on Thursday.