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Get reviews right: Eddie

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Jesse Hogan

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Magpies knock out Eagles

Collingwood has clinched a preliminary final berth after defeating West Coast.

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COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has implored the AFL to this week definitively clarify its officiating policies, particularly for score reviews, in time for the season's three most important matches.

McGuire's call for a thorough briefing from the AFL's umpires director Jeff Gieschen and football operations chief Adrian Anderson comes in the wake of his team contentiously having a goal disallowed during its semi-final win against West Coast last night.

Magpies forward Andrew Krakouer benefited from Eagle Andrew Embley's failed attempt to rush a behind to snap a first-quarter goal from close range. About 25 seconds after the goal was signalled a section of the MCG crowd began jeering after a scoreboard replay seemingly depicted Embley's handball crossing the goal-line before it was intercepted by Collingwood's Tyson Goldsack. It was not until about 45 seconds after Krakouer's goal was confirmed - as the presiding field umpire was preparing to restart play in the centre - that the duty score-review official intervened.

So close:  the disputed goal-line incident.

So close: the disputed goal-line incident. Photo: Channel Seven

While footage from one ground-level camera seemed to indicate the ball had crossed the line, longer-range footage taken from a camera high in the Southern Stand was more ambiguous. Those two main footage excerpts were from cameras unaligned to the goals, whereas directly on the goal line there was both a goal umpire and a boundary umpire on either side of Goldsack as he collected the ball.

Under AFL rules the ball remains in play until it either hits a post or the entire ball is behind the outer edge of the line. Furthermore, score-review officials are instructed to only overturn a decision if the footage is conclusive. Channel Seven commentator Luke Darcy declared he was therefore "staggered" at the decision to strip the Magpies of a goal.

Score-review officials are empowered to instigate reviews, rather than just act at the behest of on-field umpires as typically occurs, and have done so on at least five times previously this season. The Krakouer incident was, however, seemingly the first instance of a scoring decision being overturned without any of the on-field umpires expressing doubt.

Andrew Krakouer celebrates his goal .... later cancelled after a controversial score review

Andrew Krakouer celebrates his goal .... later cancelled after a controversial score review Photo: Getty Images

McGuire, a fervent campaigner for more cameras to bolster the score-review system (which was introduced the day before the season began after a NAB Cup trial), acknowledged the decision was "a one-centimetre call" but was astonished it culminated in the on-field umpires being overruled.

"Unless the score reviewer had X-ray vision last night there was no way known that he could've overturned it, because if the ball had been even just touching the line [obscured by the goalpost the goal should have stood]," he told The Age.

"I don't mind it if it's blatantly [wrong], that it bounced off the post or whatever, but they don't have the technology in place to make a call when you've got a boundary umpire and a goal umpire standing virtually on top of it [saying the opposite]. Neither of them even brought it up in discussions, that 'Gee, did it [stay in play] or didn't it?'. They were quite definitive about the whole thing.

"For them to go to an inconclusive piece of vision and then overrule is a massive step."

The AFL has endorsed the score-review official's action in instigating the review but is yet to give its verdict on whether his subsequent decision was correct too. McGuire is keenly anticipating the latter.

"It could have been different obviously, if we'd have got done by a point . . . but you can't be shifting the line on what is the drop-dead call on this. If the drop-dead call is there's irrefutable proof the umpire's got it wrong then that's fair enough. But I thought we'd gone mid season to the umpire's call has to be shown to be wrong, rather than to 'We'll go with the video and disregard the umpires'," the Collingwood president said.

"Forget about the Krakouer thing, we just need to know for the next two weeks. If it is [official precedent], then we have to go to a position where we stop the game and check every goal."

McGuire said his main priority was for consistency in officiating across this weekend's two preliminary finals and in the grand final the following weekend.

"OK, they've made a blue but let's not make that a federal offence and get all uptight - but let's get it right for the last two weeks. I'd love this week for the AFL - Jeff Gieschen and Adrian (Anderson) - to come out and say 'Right guys, this is how we're going to have ducking of the head [adjudicated], this is how we're going to have marking contests, this is what we're going to do with the video review, so that everybody knows and everyone's clear. I think that'd be a really good thing."

155 comments so far

  • Only a Collingwood supporter or a commentator trying to make the decision contentious would argue that anything other than commonsense prevailed. There is no way that was a goal....and to call it one would have been a much worse outcome.

    Commenter
    Bill Williams
    Location
    Table Top
    Date and time
    September 16, 2012, 6:45PM
    • So you think the evidence was conclusive then? Didn't look conclusive to me. If anything, one of the angles looks to show that the ball clearly didn't completely cross the line. I guess we see what we want to see.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:04PM
    • @Bill Williams - take a look at the replay and LISTEN to what the field umpire says to the video review booth - the umpire CLEARLY states that the nearest boundary umpire (the only person with an unobstructed view) said that the WHOLE ball DID NOT cross the line - therefore anyone with any knowledge about our game would know that the ball was in play. The only people who are ignoring this and trying to say the correct decision was made are Collingwood haters. I think you must have been under the table, not on top of it.

      Commenter
      Look, Listen, Learn
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:18PM
    • A bit of commonsense might go a long way ...
      I have rarely seen a game where there aren't at least a couple of cases where a player CONS everyone by running a metre outside the boundary line while holding the ball up (as if on a platter) as close to the line as he can ... implying ... imploring that how could ANYBODY question that the ball is over the line ...
      If we get a replay, you'll often see that the ball is a foot or more over the line, but due to the speed of the game, we usually see it let go.
      Last night's effort - surely - if there IS any doubt, the ball was 95% or more over the line, with maybe a 5% chance at most that it wasn't ... How on earth does it make sense to give the 5% MORE priority than the 95%?
      In every comparable case, you will find footage that will be obscured by goalposts, or the goal umpire, or any number of players with bodies over the ball (even if you have an overhead camera) ... Why not just put a sensor in the ball, and receiving sensors in appropriate places behind the goal line where it will just register a signal as soon as the ball is over that line?

      Commenter
      wimax
      Location
      SEQld
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:27PM
    • With 35000 spare seats at the game, little Eddie couldn't complain about seat allocation this week, so the umpires and the review system got a spray. No doubt he would have called for a Royal Commission and sought the intervention of the Pope, had they not won.

      Commenter
      Corbachov
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:32PM
    • I'm neither and I disagree with the decision.

      Commenter
      bornagirl
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:35PM
    • My issue was not the fact that they corrected the score. BUT I thought the intention of the review was to be simultaneous. There was no indication that the scoring officials thought anything of the ball being anything other than a goal AND it was not until the central umpires saw the replay that they decided to call for a review. They were back in the middle ready for the game to recommence. This is where my issue is.

      Commenter
      David
      Location
      Sunbury
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:41PM
    • @wimax: do you watch the tennis? The rule is that no part of the ball must be touching the line for the ball to be called 'out'. Seems the same applies to the football.

      From what I saw of the footage, the ball did not appear to be conclusively over the line (using the above rule).

      It wouldn't have mattered to me which side was affected, I like to think we have rules in place which will treat all teams equally.

      Commenter
      bornagirl
      Location
      Cats fan
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:46PM
    • Wirmax, if the ball was 95% over the line, it was NOT a goal. Please learn the rules of the games.

      The goal and field umpires should not have been overruled by a guy who sits in a booth looking at an inconclusive video replay.

      NONE of the field umpires called for a video review.

      That was something which should not happen to ANY TEAM, regardless of whether you are a Collingwood supporter or not.

      Commenter
      George 313
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 7:53PM
    • Haters just can't think or reason objectively.
      Yes, there are many instances where you just can't tell what has happened, but that's when the umpire on the ground makes his human decision and we move on.
      The video system is about letting visual certainty override the ground decision. I want to see that certain footage but they didn't show it last night. And it's not on the AFL website

      Commenter
      Scott
      Location
      Tasmania
      Date and time
      September 16, 2012, 8:05PM

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