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AFL admits error on Tigers' score review

Higgins' goal review: What's your call? Jack Higgins has a shot touched by Tom Hickey and given a behind after a goal review

THE AFL has admitted it made a blunder with its score review technology that cost Richmond a goal in its win over St Kilda on Saturday.

The League added the Tigers had been on the wrong end of a run of score reviews so far this year.

The latest controversy surrounded a shot by young Tiger Jack Higgins in the third term of Richmond's clash. His kick was at first called a goal by the goal umpire before it was reviewed and ruled a behind, despite replays not conclusively showing it was touched before it passed the goal line.

Football operations manager Steve Hocking on Monday said the score review had erred in overturning the original call of a goal, as there had not been sufficient evidence to rule it a behind. 

Hocking said the score reviewers were instructed to make quick decisions but that the wrong one had been made on the weekend.

"I would repeat again that the overall mechanics of the score review system are good for the game in correcting errors and ensuring against wrong decisions, with some 29 reviews this season reaching a decision that corrected an original error," Hocking said. 

"That said, when an overrule decision is made that is incorrect or confusing for fans, such as the decision in Saturday's game, all of that good work is quickly undone and clubs, players and fans will lose faith in the process of going to a score review.

"It will continue to be educated to the review staff as the highest priority that when it comes to an over-rule the vision must be beyond reasonable doubt, or to revert to the original decision made by the umpire on-field."

Higgins' non-goal drew a fierce reaction from Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, who labelled the score review system an "embarrassment" after the game.

DIM VIEW Hardwick slams review system

"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. 

"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."

The AFL said the Tigers had been unlucky in score reviews throughout the season. 

"The Richmond Football Club has had score reviews in its games in the first part of the season that the AFL acknowledges were not performed to the expected standard. The AFL will continue to coach and educate the staff involved around what is expected in their roles," Hocking said.

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