Main content

'Have some common sense': Dimma slams studs-up rule

'I don't think that's why the rule was brought in' Damien Hardwick was scathing in his assessment of the 'studs up' rule that controversially cost Jack Riewoldt two crucial marks

THE FIRST 'studs-up' free kick paid against Jack Riewoldt on Sunday left him seething.

The second left both Riewoldt and his coach Damien Hardwick with a look of confusion.

Now, Hardwick has called upon the AFL to rethink the merit of what he believes was a "reactive" decision in introducing the controversial rule for the 2019 season.

TIGERS IN A CLASSIC Full match coverage and stats

Riewoldt gave up two contentious free kicks during Sunday's dramatic six-point victory over West Coast when he planted his studs into the backs of opponents in marking contests.

One came at a critical moment of the game, with the Tigers clinging to a narrow lead in the dying stages of a thrilling wet weather contest between two premiership hopefuls.


According to Hardwick, such an action was not reflective of why the rule was introduced.

WATCH The thrilling final two minutes

"I don't think that's what the rule was brought in for," Hardwick said.

"If you don't want high marks in the game, come on … I don't think it's a good look.

"At the end of the day, the rule was brought in for the guy who kicks someone in the head. The last time I looked, that player's head wasn't on his hamstring.

"Have some common sense."


Hardwick also suggested the AFL reconsiders whether the rule is necessary going forward.

"I didn't know why we needed the rule in the first place, to be perfectly honest … we seem to have a very reactive nature at stages," Hardwick said.

"The game of AFL is so tough on these blokes. Don't give them so many rules."

WATCH Damien Hardwick's full post-match media conference

Richmond hearts were in mouths late in the third quarter when All Australian hopeful Dylan Grimes limped off, having landed awkwardly on his right ankle in a marking contest.

However, he returned to finish the match, playing an important role in the thrilling victory.

It was another positive on the injury front for the Tigers, who are also likely to regain captain Trent Cotchin and ruckman Toby Nankervis for next week's clash with the Lions.

"(Grimes) is walking around at the moment," Hardwick said.

"We'll assess it once we get more information. But he finished the game, which is a positive for us. It has blown up a little bit, which is generally not a bad thing.

"He's a really important player given the way we play, so we'll monitor him very heavily."