'Spirit of the game' rule a "complete joke": Riewoldt

SEN - Mon, 16th Sep 2019 - 0 Comments

Nick Riewoldt does not like the “spirit of the game” rule which was enforced by an umpire during Saturday night’s Brisbane versus GWS final.

The umpire warned Giants defender Adam Kennedy that he needs to stop bumping Charlie Cameron’s injured arm as it is against the “spirit of the game”.

Cameron was dealing with an arm injury, but came back on the ground with it heavily strapped and managed to play out the game.

Riewoldt believes players who come back on the ground should not receive extra protection.

“I don’t subscribe to that. You’re on the ground. I absolutely agree with if a player is injured and they’re trying to get off, then you can’t go after them. We all agree on that,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“(If you come back on the ground) you’re fair game.

“What if you come into a game with an injury, like a really sore hand or a cork. Does that mean you need to put a special coloured tape around it and go up to the umpire and say I’ve got a bit of a cork so can you just make sure no one goes after it please?

“I hated seeing this on the weekend. I think this is a complete joke. That the umpire would warn a player that you’re not allowed to do that to another player.”

When told that the umpire correctly adjudicated the ‘spirit of the game’ rule, Riewoldt added that the rule should be changed and is wrong.

“The law is wrong then. If you’re coming back onto the ground, Charlie Cameron was still able to dish out bumps, I don’t like the rule then,” he said.

“If I was a player under any sort of injury cloud, I’d be going straight to the umpires and saying this part of me is sore, pay a free kick.”

Riewoldt was part of a similar situation when he was playing, getting bumped by Brisbane players after he suffered a collarbone injury.

The St Kilda legend shrugged off trainers to stay on the ground, unaware he had a broken collarbone, and was roughed up by Mal Michael.

However, Riewoldt said they had every right to go at him, given his decision to stay on the ground.

“I had no issue with it then and I had no issue with it now,” he said.