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Dimma, Clarko call for top technology, Gill says best people reviewed goal

Was McKernan's crucial late goal touched? A great mark and handball from Hooker gives Shaun McKernan a goal to tie up the scores

PREMIERSHIP coaches Damien Hardwick and Alastair Clarkson want the AFL to buy the best technology possible to ensure the score review process is closer to foolproof.

The latest score review controversy was in Thursday night's Essendon-Greater Western Sydney clash, where Giant Adam Kennedy appeared to touch Shaun McKernan's game-tying goal.

The Bombers went on to win the game in the last two minutes after that McKernan major.

 

The system's been under the spotlight this season for regular errors, and AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the League will use a centralised bunker for all goal review decisions next year.

"It's a tough one, isn't it?" Hardwick told reporters on Friday morning.

I'm not a big fan of looking at fingertips moving backwards and all that sort of stuff – it's an incredibly hard job - Damien Hardwick

"As much as I thought it was a good idea at the time, I just think what the AFL should do is go to the key stakeholders of the game, which are the AFL clubs, and figure out what we want to do.

"We either fully invest, or let's not have it at all. Once again, go around to every club, who have a philosophy or viewpoint on it, and let's just make a call one way or the other.

"I'm not a big fan of looking at fingertips moving backwards and all that sort of stuff – it's an incredibly hard job."

Did the vision show the ball was touched 'beyond reasonable doubt'?

Clarkson said the topic wasn't a top priority for coaches and players, but that if there was a way to improve the process then it should be pursued.

"I would have thought they're trying to get the absolute best technology – and if they haven't, then go and get it," Clarkson said.

"If they've already got it, then make a decision on whether it's working or not. But I'd think the AFL would be exploring this pretty closely.

They made the decision on the night that it wasn't touched in their mind beyond reasonable doubt - Gillon McLachlan

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"They don't like this to be an issue the following morning after a game, particularly if they think, in some way, it might have influenced the result of the game.

"They're not searching for that sort of publicity or discussion about it, so I'd reckon they'd be doing everything they can to get it right and sometimes when you explore these things, it doesn't always work.

"You've just got to keep exploring and finding ways to take the game forward."

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Clarkson said he hadn't spoken to Melbourne Storm coach and confidante Craig Bellamy about how the bunker system worked in the NRL.

What I'm comfortable with is the process that played out: the best people, the right time, using the right technology and making the decision - Gillon McLachlan

"If there are other codes around the world that have better systems, then let's have a look at what they're doing and see whether it applies to AFL," Clarkson said.

"What happens in rugby (league) might be a little bit different, too, just because of the nature and the manner in which that game is played. They may have more time to do reviews.

"I don't know the dynamics enough of their sport. But if there are better systems out there, let's explore them.

"If there's not, then let's continue to tinker with ours and work out how it can be the best it can be."

McLaclan said the best reviewer was working on Thursday night.

"There was plenty of time to review it, it wasn't as though it wasn't reviewed," McLachlan said.

"But last night we narrowed the amount of goal reviewers down; that was one of our best goal reviewers with the reserve goal umpire.

"It was reviewed for 40 seconds, the vision using the Hawkeye system which people saw, and they had to make a decision about was that ball touched beyond reasonable doubt.

"That's the standard to overturn the decision. They had specific training this week, had gone through vision about what reasonable doubt was, and they made the decision on the night that it wasn't touched in their mind beyond reasonable doubt."

McLachlan would not comment on whether he thought the kick was touched, but said the football department would review the decision.

"What I'm comfortable with is the process that played out: the best people, the right time, using the right technology and making the decision. Everyone out there has different views on whether the decision was right or wrong but the review will come from the footy department today.

"I'm comfortable with how the system worked last night and in the end it was a subjective assessment by the guys making the decision."