AFL medical sub rule slammed as ‘ACCEPTED RORT’ with Richmond the latest team to exploit the rule
AFL medical sub-rule struck as an ‘ACCEPTED RORT’ with Richmond, the latest team to exploit the rule after a player was out with cramp at a crucial stage
- Controversial medical sub-rule again a hot topic of conversation with AFL fans
- Richmond replaced defender Ben Miller in the fourth quarter with Maurice Rioli Jr
- Small forward made an immediate impact against Fremantle, with two crucial tackles
- Some football fans felt Tigers were exploiting the medical sub-rule to their advantage
Fed up of footy fans have labeled the AFL’s medical sub-rule an “accepted blunder” after Richmond seemingly exploited the concussion replacement guideline during Friday’s tie against Fremantle.
In controversial scenes at Marvel Stadium, Tigers defender Ben Miller was substituted for teammate Maurice Rioli Jnr in the fourth quarter – and the little forward impressed immediately with two disposals and two tackles.
After the game, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said Miller had been experiencing calf cramps recently, while team-mate Nathan Broad added that he thought Miller was suffering from “whole body cramps”.
The polarizing medical sub-rule was introduced last year by the AFL ahead of the first round — and has been widely panned since.
It sees a player able to compete after club doctors have assessed an injury or concussion as ‘medically unfit’ to continue the match.
To be eligible for a medical change, the club doctor must rule that an injured player cannot play for the next 12 days.
Footy fans have labeled the AFL’s medical sub-rule an ‘accepted error’ after Richmond seemingly exploited the concussion edict during Friday’s draw against Fremantle Dockers (pictured, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick)
In controversial scenes at Marvel Stadium, Tigers defender Ben Miller was substituted for teammate Maurice Rioli Jr. in the fourth quarter.
It remains to be seen if Miller will line up against Brisbane in the MCG next weekend.
AFL reporter Sam Edmund lamented the lack of clarity on the controversial issue.
“We have the continuation of what may be the most ridiculous rule of the year. Forget the high tackle, it’s the medical sub-rule,” he said on SEN radio.
“We were told there would be a strict medical board that would protect its integrity, now after six rounds we had about a dozen players who were eliminated and played the following week.
“The rule was put in place not to anticipate when a player might get injured, it’s put in place when a player gets injured, and I think we’re getting into the gray area here.”
Former Richmond striker Matthew Richardson admitted that the incident will raise eyebrows.
Maurice Rioli Jr was introduced in the fourth quarter – and the small forward (pictured center) immediately impressed with two dives and two tackles
“There will always be suspicion about these changes because they seem so tactical in terms of their timing,” he told Channel 7.
“That’s why you would like the AFL to make a decision. They miss the next week or they can be exchanged whenever they want, because there is always suspicion.”
Richmond doctors must provide the AFL with a medical certificate proving that Miller suffered a legitimate injury.
If it is found that the medical replacement rule has been violated, the club may be penalized.
In what was a close match, Tigers youngster Noah Cumberland could have been the hero as he took a mark on the 50m line with seconds to go.
But the 21-year-old showed his inexperience by playing on as the siren sounded and ordered the two teams to split the four competition points on offer.