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Clubs have themselves to blame for bump rule: Scott

Brad Scott, coach of the Kangaroos during the 2014 AFL round 04 match between the Sydney Swans and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the SCG, Sydney on April 13, 2014. (Photo: Craig Golding/AFL Media)
Brad Scott says 80 per cent of clubs wanted the new bumping rule introduced
You can't turn around now and say, 'Oh, we don't like it'
Brad Scott on the new bump rule
BRAD Scott says rival clubs complaining about players being suspended for accidental head clashes only have themselves to blame after "80 per cent" of them approved changes to the bump rule at the end of 2013.

Scott was asked about Carlton coach Mick Malthouse's criticism of the new bump rule that means players bumping can be charged for forceful contact to an opponent's head or neck even if that contact is caused by a clash of heads.

The rule change was prompted after North forward Lindsay Thomas bumped Magpie Ben Reid in round one last year, causing an accidental head clash that left the Collingwood player concussed.

Speaking on Adelaide radio station 5AA on Wednesday night, Malthouse said of the bump rule: "I just don't get it." He argued the rule should allow for "accidents".

The Carlton coach cited Fremantle star Nat Fyfe's bump on Gold Coast's Michael Rischitelli in round two this year as example of a suspension under the new rule that confused him.

Scott did not specifically refer to Carlton or his former coaching mentor Malthouse, but said 80 per cent of clubs could not complain about the new rule after approving its introduction last year.

"My opinion was [the rule] shouldn't have been changed in the first place, but clubs have only got themselves to blame," Scott said at Arden Street on Thursday.

"The question was clearly asked by (AFL football operations manager) Mark Evans last year, should Lindsay Thomas have been suspended for his bump on Ben Reid in the Collingwood game?

"And Mark Evans told me 80 per cent of the clubs said that he should have been.

"So he said if there's an accidental head clash 80 per cent of clubs said (the player responsible) should be suspended.

"So you can't turn around now and say, 'Oh, we don't like it'."

Scott agreed with Malthouse that a bump causing an accidental head clash should not land a player in hot water.

"As a club we were really strongly against that rule. If you bump and it's a fair bump and it's shoulder to shoulder and there's an accidental head clash, well, it's an accident (and) players shouldn't be suspended for it," Scott said.

However, Scott does not share the concerns of some commentators that the game is losing its inherent charm because of the player congestion that has plagued some matches in this year's first five rounds.

Scott agreed with his twin brother and Geelong coach Chris Scott that AFL football was in "great shape".

"You look at the best games, how good are they?" Scott said.

"Do yourselves a favour, go back and look at footy 15, 20 years ago. It's not a patch on what it is today.

"We focus too much on the poor games, and there are poor games, there are always going to be poor games, (but) that doesn't mean there's a problem with the game itself."

Twitter: @AFL_Nick