THE AFL'S score review system has come under fire after a controversial decision to award North Melbourne a goal in the opening quarter of their thrilling win over Sydney on Saturday night.

Kangaroo Billy Hartung put his side in front with a clever snap around his body in the 26th minute of the first term, but Swans veteran Jarrad McVeigh immediately claimed to have got a hand on it when he attempted a diving smother. 

ROOS STUN SWANS: Full match coverage and stats

His protests were waved away by the field umpires, who took the ball back to the middle. 

Replays showed on television and on the big screen at the ground clearly showed the Sydney defender getting fingers to the ball shortly after it left Hartung's boot, but the central umpire bounced the footy and play went on.

As part of the review system, all goals are meant to be reviewed even if the umpire doesn't officially request a decision to be made.

The Roos ended up in front at the final siren by just two points.

BROWN NEVER BORING: Five talking points

Swans coach John Longmire was at a loss to explain the call after his side's disappointing night.

"I don't know what you want me to say," he said.

"If he touched it, he touched it, that’s what the review is for I would have thought, but anyway."

WATCH: John Longmire's full post-match media conference

The debate was lost on North Melbourne coach Brad Scott, who said he did not dwell on the incident.

"I was about 250 metres away and I didn't look at the review," Scott said.

"I can't control it, so we just move on to the next thing that we're looking at, we don't get caught up looking at replays and becoming third or fourth umpires."

WATCH: Brad Scott's full post-match media conference

Scott said he would be surprised if Hartung's snap did not come under the microscope.

"They review every goal before the ball bounces for the next centre bounce, so I'd be staggered if they didn't look at it," Scott said.