GEELONG has acknowledged that Josh Hunt needs to change the way he tackles, after the premiership defender copped a two-match suspension this week.
Hunt, who accepted the match review panel's offer of a two-game suspension on a guilty plea for his tackle on Sydney's Luke Parker in their first-round NAB Cup match, will not return until the final round of the pre-season competition. It is his second similar suspension for illegal tackling.
Coach Chris Scott yesterday called the ban appropriate, adding that Hunt knew the rules. ''Josh needs to change his technique in that area and we're working really hard on that,'' he said. ''We don't have any issue with the way the rules are worded or adjudicated.''
Hunt was given a one-game suspension for a heavy tackle on Carlton's Jarrad Waite in 2010. ''Clearly we're failing in some regard there,'' Scott said. ''But it's a minor thing we're confident we can remedy. And I reiterate, we have absolutely no problem with the way the rules are worded. We encourage our players to play as hard as you possibly can, within the rules and the spirit of the game.
''We understand that's sometimes a fine line, and we understand that players will accidentally go over the line at times. It becomes a real problem if players are deliberately stepping over that line or if they don't understand the rules. I don't think that's the case with our guys.''
Scott said it was clear that there was a responsibility on the tackler. ''You can't pin a guy's arms and then sling him head-first into the ground. That's really clear. He [Josh] understands it and he's really confident he can play within the rules.'' The Cats venture to the Gold Coast for a second-round NAB Cup clash on Friday, with centre half-forward Tom Hawkins a chance to make his first appearance for 2012.
Sydney champion Adam Goodes yesterday accepted a one-match suspension for rough play during the pre-season match against Geelong last weekend.
¦St Kilda's mature-aged recruit Ahmed Saad is taking advice from a strong source in the art of the small forward. He has latched on to Stephen Milne, the Saints' goal sneak and serial pest on the field.
Saad, 22, recruited from Northern Bullants, was a stand-out in St Kilda's NAB Cup matches against Sydney and Geelong last Friday.
The Saints play Essendon in Wangaratta on Saturday night.