AFL boss Gill McLachlan is happy with how the contentious deliberate out-of-bounds rule is being adjudicated, despite acknowledging the umpires made a couple of mistakes in round seven.
Richmond’s Jayden Short was harshly penalised for fumbling the ball over the line in the dying seconds of the five-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, denying the Tigers one final shot at victory.
GWS co-captain Callan Ward was also controversially adjudged to have deliberately put the ball out of bounds in the shock loss to St Kilda on Friday night.
“There are always some mistakes,” McLachlan told reporters on Monday.
“I think respect for umpires is an incredibly important part of our game at the community level and the elite level.
“They do a very tough job.”
McLachlan believes most supporters have a solid understanding of how the new interpretation of deliberate out of bounds should be applied.
They understand it and on the weekend there were a couple of mistakes,” he said.
“Football is going really well so in the absence of other noise we focus on two mistakes.
“I think we are not talking about the important role the rule changes have made to the quality of the game.
“When you make change there are always challenges.”
The AFL Laws of the Game committee gave the new interpretation of the rule its seal of approval last week, although several coaches, including Luke Beveridge from the Western Bulldogs, remain far from convinced.
“The insufficient intent, is it clearer or less clearer? I don’t know,” Beveridge said on Saturday night.
“I feel like, is this Morecambe and Wise or Fawlty Towers? I’m not sure.”