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League ticks off score review as Hardwick slams ‘not good enough’ system, should the Tigers have played Dusty?

The AFL has taken no time at all to tick off the controversial score review that denied Richmond’s Tom Lynch a crucial goal in the elimination final, despite Tigers coach Damien Hardwick’s protests.

Lynch was awarded a goal by the on-field umpires, only for the ARC review system to deem that the ball had gone over the goal posts, overruling the call and awarding a behind.

The moment would prove crucial, with Brisbane taking the ball up the other end for a Joe Daniher goal to prevail by just two points.

Hardwick was blunt in his post-match media conference, saying the current technology in place for score reviews is ‘not good enough’.

“We’ve put a lot of money, and clearly it’s indecisive still,” Hardwick said, before questioning whether determining goals should again be put in the hands of the on-field umpires alone.

“We’ve got umpires. Pick which way you want to go… the technology is not to the level it needs to be, so either get it better or don’t have it.

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

Despite Hardwick’s frustration, the AFL took less than two hours after the final siren at the Gabba to approve the decision to award a behind.

“The ARC reviewed all the camera angles and it is viewed as a definitive behind. The correct call was made,” a statement released to The Age reads.

Speaking on Fox Footy, though, former great Jason Dunstall was highly sceptical of the decision, questioning how the evidence seen was sufficient to overturn the on-field call of goal.

“How can you definitively tell it went over the goalpost from the camera angles we were looking at? How you can say that’s definitive is beyond me,” Dunstall said.

According to the Hawthorn legend, Lynch and his teammates’ on-field reaction, appearing to believe he had missed, may have played a part in denying the Tigers the goal.

“Just having a look at the reaction from Tom Lynch when he’s kicked it, there’s no celebration. He thinks he’s missed. None of the Tigers’ players are celebrating,” Dunstall said.

“In my eyes, that’s telling me a big part of it; if I’m reviewing it and saying: ‘Look at the Richmond players’ reaction!’

“There’s no fist, no pump, nothing. None of the players running in. That’s not a bloke that’s just kicked a goal.

“The players, given the state of the game, you don’t think the Richmond players would have celebrated?”

The Lions await the winner of Melbourne’s qualifying final clash with Sydney at the MCG on Friday night.

Joe Daniher of the Lions celebrates the winning goal against Richmond.

Joe Daniher of the Lions celebrates the winning goal against Richmond. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Tigers’ bold call on rusty Dusty slammed

Kane Cornes has questioned Richmond’s decision to play an ’80 per cent fit’ Dustin Martin in their elimination final loss to Brisbane.

Playing his first game since a hamstring injury in Round 16, Martin finished with 15 disposals and a goal, and look well short of his game-breaking best.

Speaking on SEN on Friday morning, Cornes criticised the decision to select the triple Norm Smith Medallist as a ‘mistake’, describing Martin as a ‘liability’ when the match needed to be won in the final quarter.

“Your ears pricked up before the game when Damien Hardwick says he’s only going to be 80 per cent fit,” Cornes said.

“He was a bit of a liability last night, Dustin Martin, they didn’t want to get him on the ground in the vital moments.

“Just three touches [in the final quarter] – all of those in the defensive half; and for the last half of the last quarter they couldn’t or didn’t want to get him on the ground.

“So a warning to other coaches: injured players – regardless of how good they are and regardless of their reputation – doesn’t often work in finals, I don’t think.”

However, Cornes’ co-host David King had an alternate take, saying the presence of even an underdone Martin had an impact on Thursday night.

“Just the fact that he’s out there, he takes a match-up and you get the domino effect, you get lesser-ranked players against other talent in that Richmond forward line,” King said.

“You’d have to say the Richmond forward line functioned – they’ve finished with 16.8 – so I don’t agree with that opinion.

“I understand you’re hot on the decision to play him, but why wouldn’t you play him? What he’s done in finals, we haven’t seen a player like this before in finals.

“So when he’s declared fit to play, what, you don’t play him?”

Dustin Martin

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Simpkin claims Roos’ B&F

North Melbourne midfielder Jy Simpkin has claimed his second consecutive club best and fairest award.

Simpkin averaged nearly 27 disposals a match to be a shining light in a dismal season for the Roos, winning just two games.

The 24-year old polled 130 votes to finish well clear of runner-up Luke Davies-Uniacke (108), with Bailey Scott, rumoured to be heading to Geelong in the off-season, rounding out the top three with 98.

New coach Alastair Clarkson was in attendance at the official club function at the Melbourne Showgrounds, with number one draft pick Jason Horne-Francis honoured with the Best Young Player award.

While pipped for the best and fairest, emerging superstar Davies-Uniacke was presented the Glenn Archer Shinboner of the Year award.

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