Betts: punch is part of the game
CROWS forward Eddie Betts believes there's still a room for punching in football, as the fallout from the Andrew Gaff suspension continues to spark debate in the Australian game.
Betts - like the rest of the football community - said there was no place for incidents like the punch from his International Rules teammate Gaff on Fremantle rookie Andrew Brayshaw.
But the regular little punches and intimidation to put an opponent off his game were ingrained in the game - part of its fabric.
Betts didn't support the idea that all punches should automatically lead to suspensions.
"Nah, they shouldn't be," Betts said on Thursday. "That's part of footy.
"It puts them off their game.
"As long as you don't hit them in the head. And Gaff, obviously, wasn't trying to hit Brayshaw in the head.
"It's part of the game e and that's what defenders do. They give them little cheap punches in the back and it kind of makes you think where the punches are coming from and at the next contest you have to worry about the guy punching you again.
"I think that's the backman's job - trying to put you off your game.
"There are a lot of things that aren't in the rules.
"People step on your toes. I used to play on (Steven) Baker from St Kilda and he used to punch me on the back of my elbow, on my funny bone, and my arm used to stiffen up.
"He kept hitting you and whacking you to put you off your game.
"I think it's part of the game."
Betts also vowed he would try to become more selfish when it came to kicking goals.
Eyebrows were raised when Betts passed to Bryce Gibbs after marking about 35m out in Showdown 45. Betts conceded coach Don Pyke had been urging him to go for his goals instead of constantly give them off to teammates.
"I don't know why in those situations I feel like passing," Betts said on radio FIVEaa. "Because it was Bryce Gibbs' 250th, he hadn't kicked a goal, I'd played a lot of footy with him at Carlton … help a brother out.
"It's just ingrained in me that when I get a mark I always try to bring my teammates into it and find a better position for them to kick a goal.
"Don (Pyke) said to me, 'Kick the goal.'
"I'm going to take Don's advice."
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