AFL world in uproar over 'disgraceful' drama in elimination final

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Damien Hardwick, pictured here during Richmond's loss to Brisbane in the AFL.
Damien Hardwick has blasted the AFL's goal review technology. Image: Channel 7

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has called for the AFL to improve its goal review technology or scrap it altogether after the Tigers' controversial loss to Brisbane in Thursday night's elimination final.

Up by three points with two minutes to play on Thursday night, Richmond's Tom Lynch had a set shot at goal that caused widespread controversy.

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Lynch didn't celebrate the goal and appeared to believe it was a behind, but the goal umpire gave a 'soft' call of goal before sending the decision for a review.

The replays appeared to show the ball sail directly over the top of the goal post, but many were of the belief that there wasn't enough clear evidence to overturn the on-field decision.

Nevertheless it came back as a behind and Richmond were left with a four-point lead instead of nine.

The contentious call kept the match alive before the Lions advanced to the other end of the Gabba for Joe Daniher to kick the match-winning goal with 64 seconds left.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, an incensed Hardwick said he didn't think there was definitive evidence to overturn the decision.

"I just feel the technology is not good enough and hasn't been for a long time," he said. "Clearly it's indecisive still.

"The whole thing is the technology is not to the level where it needs to be. So either get it better or get rid of it."

Tom Lynch, pictured here appearing to think he'd kicked a behind.
Tom Lynch didn't celebrate and appeared to think he'd kicked a behind. Image: Channel 7

The triple premiership coach reiterated that he'd never been a fan of the AFL Review Centre and felt that unless the system was perfect, the goal umpires should be the sole arbiter.

"Why don't we just let the umpire make the call," he said.

"They're paid to do a job - let them do it. Or don’t have them, one of the two. To me it just doesn’t make any sense.

“But the fact is we saw a pretty good game of footy and one side had to lose and unfortunately that was us tonight.”

During the replays, Channel 7 commentator Hamish McLachlan said: “They can’t overturn it unless they are absolutely sure."

Brian Taylor added: “This has gone that high over the goalpost. Unless there is a definitive angle, and I don’t think they have a definitive angle on this.

“It depends on the angle, I don’t know about that."

Damien Hardwick, pictured here during the elimination final between Richmond and Brisbane.
Damien Hardwick looks on during the elimination final between Richmond and Brisbane. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

AFL world in uproar over 'disgraceful' drama

Jon Ralph of the Herald Sun said after the game: “I’m not sure anyone really knows whether it made the right decision, and that is something of a failure of that system there.

“The evidence needs to be irrefutable, it needs to be overwhelming for that to be overturned, because as we know the goal umpire initially called a goal.

“There is a freeze-frame here that potentially indicates the ball is over the post, but it’s not directly behind the line of the kick, so we ask something of this system it potentially is not always capable of. It’s not a 360-degree system there."

Channel 7's Tom Browne later reported that the AFL had ticked off the call and declared it the right one.

“The ARC reviewed all the camera angles and its viewed as a definitive behind. The correct call was made," he reported.

The 16.10 (106) to 16.8 (104) win means Brisbane will now play the loser of Sydney's clash with Melbourne, while it's curtains for Richmond after they had entered the finals in hot form.

Needless to say there was widespread anger around the AFL world, particularly from Richmond fans.

with AAP

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