Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has blasted the AFL’s goal review technology which controversially denied his side victory in the pulsating elimination final.
Up by three over Brisbane with two minutes to play on Thursday, the goal umpire gave a “soft” call of a goal to Tom Lynch’s angled set shot before it was sent upstairs for review.
The replay appeared to show the Tiger’s snap sailed directly over the post to be awarded a behind.
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Instead of being ahead by nine, the call kept the match alive before the Lions advanced to the other end of the Gabba for Joe Daniher to steal it with 64 seconds left.
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Hardwick was incensed at the call by the AFL Review Centre, indicating the replay wasn’t definitive enough 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.”
Even Lions coach Chris Fagan admitted he was unsure which way the call would go.
While Lynch, who slotted three straight earlier before missing two in the final quarter, didn’t celebrate like he’d kicked it, Hardwick downplayed that as a factor.
“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,” he said.
The triple premiership coach reiterated he’d never been a fan of the ARC 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.”
Richmond threatened to blow the final open several times through a match which had 17 lead changes.
Although proud of the effort, Hardwick lamented turnovers from “fundamental” errors and another hamstring injury to gun midfielder Dion Prestia just before halftime.
Hardwick felt Prestia’s costly loss affected the balance of his side, forcing Dustin Martin into the midfield more than they’d wish.
“That (defeat) probably sums up our year,” he said.
“We just made some wrong decisions … and we just weren’t clean enough with our skills.”