RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has blasted the AFL's score review system as an "embarrassment" after a Jack Higgins shot at goal was confusingly ruled a behind in Saturday's win over St Kilda.
The first-year Tiger had a shot from 50 metres in the third term of his side's 28-point win.
The goal umpire is understood to have believed it was a goal before it was touched by Saints big man Tom Hickey, but it was referred to the goal review system, which ruled it a behind, despite replays not conclusively showing it was touched before fully passing the goal line.
Hardwick questioned why the game should stop despite the goal umpire's initial call Higgins' kick was a goal.
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"So why do we wait? Why don't we just go back to the centre? He's called a goal. We're asked to trust and respect the umpires, how about the we back the goal umpire in and then we go back to the centre? And if you haven't figured it out by that stage just let the game go. Momentum in sport is a wonderful thing," Hardwick said post-game.
"I sit there and I still don't know how it got turned over. Seriously, it's an embarrassment to our game. I reckon it really is. The technology is deplorable.
"What do you reckon the technology is going to be like in Alice Springs this week [when Melbourne and Adelaide play on Sunday]? Might as well get the Hubble telescope to come and give us a snapshot."
The Hubble telescope is based in space and operated by NASA.
WHAT'S YOUR CALL? Higgins goal review
Higgins' goal would have put Richmond up by 19 points early in the third term, but after it was disallowed the Saints struck back with four quick goals to snatch the lead.
Another incident saw Dustin Martin snap a goal in the final term, with a review found to be inconclusive whether Logan Austin touched the football, so the decision was made to go with the umpire's call.
St Kilda coach Alan Richardson was unimpressed with that decision, although not to the degree that Hardwick was.
"They were confusing today. I thought we were probably a little bit lucky on one. It looked like the ball that Hickey touched had cleared the line," Richardson said.
"I thought that Logan Austin's looked like he'd clearly touched it.
"Today it didn't work. I'm not sure whether it's embarrassing or not, but it was ineffective today."
Richmond was good enough to restore its composure after the Higgins incident, take the advantage by the final change and then comfortably run out winners. Hardwick said the moment had "flattened" him in the coaches' box but wasn't a factor in the Saints' run at that stage.
"They were playing a great brand of footy then. We needed that goal then, there's no doubt about it, but it is what it is. There's not much we could do about it," he said.
A goal to Dustin Martin in the fourth term was also sent to the score review system before being given the all-clear.
Richmond's win was made more meritorious given they were down to two players on the bench for most of the game after key forward Jack Riewoldt was concussed five minutes into the contest and Bachar Houli hurt his groin in the opening quarter.
Hardwick said Houli would likely miss next week's Dreamtime at the 'G clash with Essendon, and that Riewoldt was in good spirits after the win despite the head knock.
"He's fine, he's up and about. How it turns out from here I'm not too sure, we'll go through the correct protocol. Our doctors made a pretty quick decision that he didn't look right, so he was ruled out pretty quickly," he said.
The premiers looked to rejig their forward set-up in Riewoldt's absence, using Josh Caddy as more of a marking target, having third-gamer Callum Moore take on more responsibility and sending Nick Vlastuin into attack.
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All ideas worked, as Caddy kicked a career-high six goals, Vlastuin chipped in with three and Moore took six marks in an encouraging display.
"We just tried to figure out who could play and pinch-hit as that second part-time forward. I thought Caddy fulfilled that role pretty well, Dusty at stages and then we had the added bonus of throwing Nick Vlastuin forward as well. Once again, I thought the boys in the box did a really good job of getting it organised," he said.
Saints defender Jake Carlisle was reported for striking in the incident that ended Riewoldt's day, but Hardwick said that "accidents happen in footy".
"I don't think there's anything in that," he said of Carlisle's spoil.