Ed Curnow makes contact with the umpire.
Ed Curnow makes contact with the umpire.

Umpires must keep their distance: Scott backs players

NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott is confident AFL players now have a clear understanding that touching an umpire during a game is out of bounds, but says the officiators can also play a role by keeping their distance as much as possible.

Scott was responding to questions about the AFL's decision to challenge the tribunal fines handed out to Carlton pair Ed and Charlie Curnow after Geelong forward Tom Hawkins' one-game ban last week.

"Personally, I think it is very clear and players don't need to be sent a message that you can't touch umpires," Scott said.

"This week has made it even clearer, after big Hawk's (Tom Hawkins) last week.

"I think it is two-fold, I would like to see the umpires keep their distance a little bit and for players to show respect to the umpires, and restraint and stay out of their way as well."

He disputed suggestions that his brother, Cats coach Chris Scott, would have been "seething" at the tribunal decisions involving the Curnow brothers.

Tom Hawkins of the Cats argues with the umpire after an incident with Nick Haynes
Tom Hawkins of the Cats argues with the umpire after an incident with Nick Haynes
"I don't think so, I think he has been pretty clear on the fact that we have got to make it clear players can't touch umpires," he said.

"I don't think he was seething over the Hawkins decision."

The Kangaroos will give Jarrad Waite until game-time in an effort to prove fitness ahead of Saturday's clash with Greater Western Sydney in Hobart.

Waite copped a bad cork in the narrow loss to Richmond last Sunday and was limited in his training on Wednesday.

Scott said the club would give him plenty of time during the week but remained hopeful he could play.

"He's pulled up well, how well, we'll find out today," Scott said. "He will have a light session on the track and we will see how he responds today.

Jarrad Waite is in doubt for North Melbourne.
Jarrad Waite is in doubt for North Melbourne.

"I suspect we will name him in our side and give him right up until Saturday morning to prove his fitness.

"It was an outstanding attempt to spoil from Alex Rance again, he didn't look like he was going to get anywhere near the contest and does. He just got there in the nick of time and unfortunately for Waitey, he got him in a good spot.

"I think he (Waite) will be right."

Scott said the fact Jack Ziebell can play against GWS after having a one-week ban overturned at the tribunal last night showed the system was working.

"It was a really good result, obviously we are a better team with him in it," Scott said. "Equally as pleasing was that we could stand up in open court, so to speak, and defend him.

"Really, there is only one person who knows if it was intentional, and Jack is adamant it wasn't an intentional act.

"The system is a lot fairer now .., when we genuinely believe we have a case, we can challenge it."



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