AAP AFL

AFL staging fine still rankles Rance

By AAP Newswire

Richmond star Alex Rance has hit out at what he feels is a lack of clarity around AFL rules about staging.

The premiership star was fined by AFL match review officer Michael Christian after he threw himself forward with only slight contact from Essendon's Shaun McKernan in round 11.

Rance chose his words carefully when asked if he was 'filthy' about being penalised for staging on Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.

"It's a tough one because we can't always speak our minds publicly when it comes to matters of the AFL," Rance said.

"It's hard when there's a lack of clarity and I think that's when the fans get frustrated at times too ... and staging's a bit of a dirty word in my mind.

"There's always parts of the game where players are trying to manipulate it and accentuate contact - whether it's the raising of an elbow to draw high contact or diving forward in a tackle or something like that to try and draw free kicks.

"I think it was a just little bit off that I became click bait for the past however long it's been.

"Staging for me is a bit of a rank term for what is just accentuating and trying to draw a free kick."

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick lashed the media after last week's win over Geelong for coverage of Rance and the diving issue he labelled "farcical" and "ridiculous".

At the time, Christian was unequivocal in his explanation of the decision to slap Rance with a staging fine.

"If you excessively exaggerate in an unsportsmanlike manner that may affect an umpire's decision then it's deemed as staging," Christian said.

"In this particular case, there was only minimal contact by McKernan and Alex excessively exaggerated that contact.

"He was paid a free kick and I believe it fit into the provisions of staging."