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Sydney Swans fume at AFL system as fans hit back over 'ironic' drama

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire isn't impressed with the score review system.

Blake Acres touches the bal land Swans coach John Longmire reacts.
Swans coach John Longmire (pictured) has taken aim at the AFL's score review system after Carlton benefited from two close calls on Friday night. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)

Swans coach John Longmire has taken aim at the AFL's score review system after two controversial calls saw Sydney fall short against Carlton in a thriller on Friday night. Carlton defeated the 11.8 (74) to 9.14 (68) in an epic during their elimination final in front of 90,000 fans.

However, Blues wingman Blake Acres' final moment lunge was just enough to decide the game for Carlton even though not everyone was convinced with the score review decision. With a few minutes to go, Acres dived at the Sherrin and the goal umpire claimed the Blues star touched the ball with his fingertip.

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The decision was tight with the commentators not convinced there was enough evidence to overturn the soft on field decision. The final verdict was that Acres had managed to touch the ball before it went through. Carlton held on to win the game in front of 90,000 adoring fans.

Longmire didn't want to question the decision right after the game having not seen enough replays. "When I'm on the bench, you don't get to see replays like you guys in the media," Longmire said post-match. "I didn't know ... I still haven't seen it."

However, with the Swans' season over, Longmire was critical and when asked if the score review system was good enough he replied: "Clearly not".

Longmire also hinted at Sydney's contrasting score review fortunes when he hoped for changes to the system. "We've been on both sides of the fence, haven't we?" he said. "We spend a fair bit trying to get things right at club land."

Hayden McLean devastated.
Hayden McLean (pictured) looks on as the Swans were eliminated from the AFL finals. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Last month, the AFL apologised after an Adelaide goal was disallowed against Sydney when replays showed the ball did not hit the post. Sydney won the game by one point and it killed the Crows' finals chances.

AFL fans were divided over the controversial call in the final minutes, but plenty of Adelaide fans pointed at the irony of a score review system call all but ending the Swans' chances of advancing in 2023.

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Nick Blakey had to leave the ground because of the high hit from Jack Martin in the first term and then returned to the game. But while Blakey was being assessed for concussion, it left the Swans one player short on the bench.

Alex Cincotta, Nic Newman and Matthew Cottrell embrace.
Alex Cincotta, Nic Newman and Matthew Cottrell celebrate as Carlton advanced in the AFL finals. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Longmire wants the ability for the sub to be activated and then taken out of the game again if the original player returns to the field.

"That's a common-sense way of dealing with it. That's part of the evolution of the game," he said. "I understand why it's not there yet. We've come a long way. It could be looked at over summer - that and goal review."

with AAP

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