AFL score review system lashed after woeful error: 'What's the point?'

Port Adelaide benefited from an AFL score review error, with a camera angle showing a goal was clearly touched unused.

Lachie Jones' shot on goal is highlighted on the left, with Jones celebrating the goal on the right in the AFL.
AFL fans were furious after the score review system failed to overturn Lachie Jones' goal for Port Adelaide, which was clearly touched by Harris Andrews. Pictures: Fox Footy/Getty Images

With a new AFL season comes one certainty - a fresh controversy involving the league's frequently maligned score review system. It only took until Saturday afternoon's clash between Port Adelaide and Brisbane, four games into the season, for fans to be up in arms about the system.

The Power encountered few difficulties in their big win over the Lions, though they were fortunate to benefit from a clear mistake made when a review was called for Lachie Jones' goal in the third quarter. Power midfielder Dan Houston's long bomb inside 50 got out the back, but Jones' hurried attempt to get boot to ball was tough to call in the moment.

BRUTAL: Buddy Franklin under scrutiny as debate erupts over 'awful act'

'POOR LOSER': Chris Scott comments divide AFL fans after Geelong loss

The goal umpire signalled the decision on the field was a goal before it was sent to be reviewed. Replays couldn't definitively show whether Brisbane defender Harris Andrews had managed to touch the ball across the line, with the on-field goal umpire's original call standing.

However moments after the decision was made, an additional TV angle was shown on the broadcast showing the ball had quite clearly come off Harris' leg before crossing the line. “That comes down to the umpires call, pure and simple,” former AFL player Garry Lyon observed on commentary for Fox Footy.

Needless to say, fans watching at home were apoplectic at the decision. Many were baffled as to how the score review either didn't show or didn't have access to every angle before the decision was confirmed.

The decision had little bearing on Port Adelaide's round one win though, with boom recruit Jason Horne-Francis excelling in his first game since being traded from North Melbourne. The 2021 No.1 draft pick finished with 25 disposals featuring 10 inside 50s, 11 score involvements, seven clearances and a goal.

Port Adelaide hand Brisbane Lions a round one AFL reality check

Ex-West Coast Eagle Rioli was an ever-present attacking threat alongside Todd Marshall (four goals, eight marks) and Charlie Dixon (3.3, 10 marks). The lacklustre Lions were lucky to lose by only 54 points, according to their bewildered coach Chris Fagan.

"For some reason or another the effort wasn't there ... all the things that we pride ourselves on were non-evident," he said. "You have got keep cool heads sometimes when you lose a game of football like that, analyse properly what happened.

"There's the game statistics that tell you what happened but there's also what is going on in people's minds. Were we as ready as we should have been ... responsibility for that sits on my shoulders as much as it sits on the players so I will have a review of myself first."

Port Adelaide players celebrate with Brisbane Lions players looking dejected in the background.
Port Adelaide put Brisbane to the sword in their round one clash, earning a 54-point victory. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Brisbane led by 18 points in a second stanza punctuated by a blow-up from Port's Charlie Dixon. An abusive Dixon gave away consecutive 50m penalties, leading to a Daniel Rich goal - the first of six majors for Brisbane in the quarter.

But Horne-Francis then stole the spotlight, assisted in midfield by Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines (29 disposals) and Zak Butters (24 touches). Power backmen Ryan Burton (24), Darcy Byrne-Jones (27) and Aliir Aliir (seven marks) nullified Brisbane's forwards with ex-Hawk Jack Gunston and Zac Bailey scoring two goals apiece.

Brisbane's hyped debutant Will Ashcroft, last year's top draft pick, snapped a classy goal among his 13 touches and former Western Bulldog Josh Dunkley was solid with 19 touches.

With AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.