‘Out of control’: AFL great, fans fume at ‘farcical’ goal review delays

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There are calls for AFL goal umpires to back themselves in after two of the opening three goals of Thursday night’s blockbuster were reviewed.

It was a must win clash between Brisbane and Collingwood at the Gabba and the Magpies dominated the early proceedings with Norm Smith medallist Bobby Hill kicking three goals in the first quarter.

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After Hill kicked his first major, Brisbane’s Cam Rayner responded with a snap. But the goal was only confirmed after a score review to check if the ball hit the post — despite a clear gap between the ball and the upright.

There was another bizarre score review when Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott’s goal was only confirmed after it was reviewed to check if the ball was touched off the boot.

Four-time premiership Hawk Luke Hodge was frustrated by the reviews, explaining every goal should be reviewed before the following centre bounce to avoid added delays.

“This is why the ball should be going back to the middle … Every goal gets reviewed when it goes back to the middle, so we just wasted 30 seconds,” Hodge said on Channel 7 after Rayner’s goal was reviewed.

Sports reporter Max Burford wrote on X: “Are goal umpires trying to score review themselves out of jobs this year? Only sort of joking.”

Journalist Brayden May said: “These score reviews are out of control.”

One fan wrote: “Why do they not just review goals during the break and call it back if it turns out it was touched or hit the post? It’s farcical levels now.”

A second fan said: “May as well not have goal umpires anymore and let technology make all decision. Goal umpires have no confidence in making decisions. Not a good look.”

Another added: “Enough of the goal reviews on every single goal. Make a decision and save them for when there is doubt. Some of these this year haven’t even been close.”

Grainy camera angles and the lack of a cricket-style hotspot technology has left fans crying out for the AFL to invest in an improved or back in the goal umpire’s decision.

Several 35-minute quarters at the start of the season have sparked debate about how the AFL can reduce in-game delays.

Ball tracking technology is being trialled in the VFL and the AFL’s new general manager of football Laura Kane has said the league will introduce an improved goal review system when it is happy with the new technology.

After Collingwood dominated the opening term, Brisbane fought back in the second term with four goals — and they could have easily had more.

The Magpies were held scoreless in the second quarter — the first time the Pies had been held scoreless in a quarter under Craig McRae.

Brisbane led 5.8 (38) to 5.3 (33) at halftime as both teams chase their first win of the season.

The Magpies kicked five goals to one in the third quarter to open up a 20-poit lead at three quarter time.

Fox Footy’s David King said pre-game the loser of the game had virtually no hope of challenging for the premiership.

“I think shut the gate on the loser tonight,” King said.

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