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AFL concedes umpire error

Peter Ryan afl.com.au  February 17, 2017 12:48 PM

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The AFL umpires department says Collingwood defender Lynden Dunn should have been penalised for deliberately rushing a behind during the final quarter of Thursday night's game against Essendon.

The AFL confirmed an incorrect decision was made when Dunn knocked a loose ball over the goal line as he ran back towards the goal.

According to the AFL umpires department because the ball "was beyond the top of the goal square when he [Dunn] made contact [the passage of play] should have been paid as deliberate [rushed behind] with a bounce, as well as the point registering."

The AFL has pledged to crack down on players deliberately rushing behinds and introduced a tighter interpretation for this season.

Under the set of guidelines sent to clubs the AFL said a deliberate rushed behind would be paid if "a player rushes a behind from outside the top of the kick-off line and its extension to the behind posts."

The incorrect decision to not pay deliberate against Dunn also meant the AFL missed an opportunity to trial a new penalty for deliberate rushed behinds introduced for the first two rounds of the JLT Community Series.

The new penalty will see a bounce take place at the top of the goalsquare if deliberate is paid rather than a free kick to the opposition directly in front of goal, as has been the case in previous seasons.

Luckily for Essendon, the Bombers were able to intercept Dunn's kick-in and score a goal.