Hardwick’s comments came in response to Magpies coach Craig McRae, who said he would seek clarification on how the 19-year-old was being officiated.
McRae took issue with suggestions from the media that Ginnivan exaggerated contact from opponents to get free kicks inside Collingwood’s attacking 50, using Richmond’s Dustin Martin and Geelong’s Joel Selwood as examples of two players who are good at evading tackles.
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“Is it within the rules? There’s no rule against it at the minute,” the coach said.
“Particularly when you’re getting a ground ball and then taking on the tackle. Dusty does it with an arm, Joel Selwood has made a living out of it, I think it’s smart play.”
However, Martin’s three-time premiership coach had a different view on matters.
“I think it’s incumbent on coaches to teach the right technique to go about picking up the ball and protecting the head,” Hardwick said.
“For me, I think we set the scene for lower leagues, for kids. The head is always important, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we’ve got to save the players from themselves.”
Ginnivan was once again in the thick of the action in Collingwood’s four-point win over Hawthorn on Sunday, and received a $1000 fine after being charged with misconduct over a third-quarter incident.