Hardwick sounds off on score review system after Tigers’ costly call

Lions players surround Joe Daniher as the crowd goes wild

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has called for the removal of the AFL’s score review system after a tight call cost the Tigers dearly in their two-point elimination final loss to Brisbane.

Key points:

  • Damien Hardwick says the AFL’s goal line technology is “not at the level it needs to be”
  • Hardwick says the umpire’s call should be final as they are “paid to do a job”
  • Chris Fagan hailed Joe Daniher’s match-winning impact after spending much of the game as the “villain”

Tigers forward Tom Lynch had marked close to goal but on a tight angle and with less than three minutes on the clock and with Richmond holding a three-point lead, kicked a check-side shot.

The goal umpire’s soft signal was that it was a goal, which means the video evidence had to be definitive to overturn the decision, but upon review, the ball was said to have travelled directly over the post and a behind was called.

Hardwick said the technology implemented is not good enough to have made such an important call.

“I don’t know. I just feel the technology is not good enough, it hasn’t been for a long time,” Hardwick said.

“We’ve put a lot of money into it and clearly it’s indecisive still. The technology is not at the level it needs to be. So either get it better, or don’t have it.”

Damien Hardwick was unhappy with the AFL’s goal review system after Richmond’s loss.(Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

Hardwick said he had long been in opposition of the system, and preferred to let the on-field umpires make the calls.

“I sit there and see the same vision you do, I see the umpire make the call. It’s got to be definitive to overturn it,” he said.

“Why don’t we just let the umpires make the call? They’re paid to do a job. Let them do a job, or don’t have them. One of the two.

“To me it doesn’t make any sense.”

Lions coach Chris Fagan said he was anxiously watching on unsure how the review would pan out, but was “pretty relieved” when the call went in Brisbane’s favour.

“It was a game like that, swings and roundabouts,” Fagan said.

Shortly after the Lynch behind, Brisbane went forward and found the winning goal through Joe Daniher, who had endured an up-and-down night to that point.

Thrust into the ruck after after an early injury to Oscar McInerney, Daniher made some costly errors before standing up in the biggest moment of all.

“There were times when he was a bit of a villain, then he was the hero in the end,” Fagan said of Daniher.

“That’s what we bought him to the club, for, those big moments. He delivered tonight when it mattered.”

Lions players surround Joe Daniher as the crowd goes wild
Joe Daniher was the hero with the winning goal in the final minute of play.(Getty Images: Michael Willson)

The Lions will play the loser of Friday night’s qualifying final between Melbourne and Sydney next weekend, and will go into that match with a timely confidence boost.

“We want to win more finals, we’re not going to get carried away tonight,” Fagan said.

“But if there was ever a way to win a final and show you are made of the right stuff it was tonight. We looked gone at times.

“Finals often come down to what goes on in the mind, to hang in there even when things aren’t going well. I’m really proud of our group to win like that.”



Author: Ivan Robinson