The AFL will make a change to their goal review system in a bid to eradicate blunders in the finals after last week’s controversy in Adelaide.
The ARC system has been under intense scrutiny over the past two weeks after two highly controversial decisions in the dying stages of crucial matches.
Adelaide’s finals chances were dashed last week after the goal umpire awarded a behind rather than a goal by Ben Keays, which would have given Adelaide the lead with just over a minute to play in Saturday night’s Adelaide Oval clash.
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The umpire signalled the ball hit a post and didn’t seek a video review which would have conclusively overturned the decision.
Outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan apologised to the Crows and admitted the umpire made a mistake in the aftermath of the incident.
The AFL will make some changes to the ARC system for finals. Credit: AAP / Channel 7
The week before, Melbourne star Christian Petracca had a score review go against him with a would-be match-winning goal against Carlton.
That review wasn’t as clear-cut as the Keays one, but still raised concerns over the effectiveness of the system.
In a bid to avoid another embarrassing situation in the finals, News Corp are reporting the league will install a senior ARC official at each game of the finals.
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And that official will have the power to urge the goal umpire hold up play before signalling his decision, should the ARC want a closer look.
Previously, ARC members could not suggest a goal umpire to refer a decision.
That will give the AFL an extra layer of help for any lineball decisions.
Goal umpires are also being urged to err on the side of caution and review any close calls.
McLachlan confirmed the change on 3AW on Friday.
“We’ve obviously reviewed it from every different angle, so there will be a change,” he said.
“There’ll be a second supervisor put in the ARC to have a direct line of communication with the umpire and we can hold it in a situation like this.
“I’ll reiterate this. I’ve spoken to the Swans, Jake Lloyd was underneath the post and thought it had hit the post, I spoke to Brett Rosebury who was the officiating umpire who thought from where he was it had hit the post.
“It clearly didn’t, it was a clear mistake, it would’ve been overturned on review, but it was a mistake we’re working to mitigate where we can. A mistake like that is difficult.”
Collingwood coach Craig McRae said this week he hopes a change will be put in place to remove the ‘soft’ calls.
“I said this to (umpire boss) Dan Richardson yesterday – when the umpire says ‘I believe it’s a point’, what if he just said ‘I’m not sure’, and let the technology take care of itself,” McRae said on Wednesday.
“Then let them make the decisions, because there are a lot of inconclusive decisions and they just go with what the umpire said.
“What if the umpire did nothing and let the technology (run) its course?
“It’s just the grand final test for me – if this happened in a grand final, would we be happy with it? I think most of us know the answer to that.”
– with AAP
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