COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley admits it was "crystal clear" the doubles tennis match that cost he and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson $25,000 wasn't allowed under the AFL's COVID-19 rules.
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Buckley and Sanderson played tennis with two other people who weren't part of the wider Collingwood group in Perth on Friday, breaching the League's Return To Play protocols.
The club was fined $50,000, with half suspended, and the two coaches had to isolate for 24 hours while awaiting results of COVID-19 tests. Both tested negative.
Buckley and Sanderson volunteered to personally pay the $25,000 fine that wasn't suspended – an offer that the club accepted.
"It can't help. You don't need the extra attention, especially when it's away from your primary endeavour, which is to be as good a football team as you possibly can be," Buckley said of the distraction the situation could have caused.
"We let the club down in that regard by our miscommunication and not being diligent enough in our understanding of what we could and couldn't do."
Buckley thought that the activity had been "ticked off" but he conceded he misinterpreted what was allowed.
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"It was crystal clear when you look back at it. There's been four or five different iterations of what is allowed in hubs and even the hotel we're in now is not technically a hub, it's a hotel," Buckley said.
"There has been almost weekly updates or changes to what has occurred and I'm not making an excuse but that is the reality that clubs are facing and there's probably some of the slip-ups have stemmed from that, but I need to be better, we need to be better."
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir was pleased that his entire team was able to contribute to a strong win, after struggling to find four-quarter efforts in round eight from some of his team.
"The contribution from all 22, we reviewed it last week and we had too many passengers," Longmuir said about what pleased him most.
NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Caleb Serong backed up last week's effort with another impressive game and Longmuir was "proud" of his game.
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"He's not your typical first year player – his attitude, his want to compete, his body size, his strength, he's really mixed it with our mids from day one," Longmuir said of Serong.
Longmuir was also pleased with the season forward Matt Taberner has put together, kicking at least one goal in every game so far this season. Taberner booted four goals against the Pies and has 16 for the season to rank equal-sixth on the Coleman Medal table, six behind leader Josh Kennedy.
"He's (Taberner) probably puts the most work into his game of anyone on our list, he's just a workhorse and he's bearing the fruit of that," Longmuir said.