AFL great Malcolm Blight has criticised the AFL’s strict ruling of the studs up rule.
Blight spoke about the issue on SEN radio on Wednesday morning, after Collingwood’s Jeremy Howe was denied a mark in the Queen’s Birthday clash for putting his studs into the back of Tom McDonald.
“Toby Greene should never have been born,” Blight told SEN, sarcastically.
“It’s his fault. Of course it is. We’ve been doing it for 120 years and everyone’s been happy with it.”
GWS forward Toby Greene was seen on two occasions lifting his studs in a manner that was considered dangerous.
The rule was consequently dubbed the ‘Toby Greene rule’ after these controversial incidents.
Despite using humour in his initial response, Blight would move to a more serious tone when speaking about the AFL’s over the top enforcement of the rule.
“It’s actually officially gone silly. It’s ludicrous,” Blight said.
“Because one person did an act and kicked out at a player coming out at him and hit him in the face. It’s not on. It’s a free kick every day.
“You don’t need to change the rules for it. Toby Greene hang your head in shame and the rule-makers hang your heads in shame.
“I find it ludicrous actually.”
Former greats Nick Riewoldt, Matthew Richardson and Jason Dunstall were all critical of the call to disallow the Howe mark.
The man himself, however, had a different opinion.
“I didn’t disagree with the call. Was I surprised that they called it? Yes, because you don’t really see it,” Howe told Fox Footy.
“Studs up is a new rule that you can’t use your feet to try and protect the body. I thought the interpretation was that you can’t extend your body, so you can’t actually try and kick someone.
“I locked my leg out, used the momentum going forward, but as soon as the crowd started booing it was a fair indication it wasn’t going to be paid a mark.”