We should have gone to Specsavers.
The only thing consistent about the AFL’s goal review system has been it’s ability to bewilder with its findings. In Round 15 it did not fail to live up to this hard won reputation with a head scratching decision on Thursday night. Somehow, after having watched a replay of Shaun McKernan’s long shot at goal, those charged with reviewing it decided that Adam Kennedy’s finger was forced backwards by something other than the Sherrin and let the original decision stand.
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Not surprisingly, as is their default setting, the AFL quickly told the world that the system operated correctly. This would have been bad enough on its own but the League wasn’t content with just not being wrong. On Sunday, Steve Hocking decided to tell those who thought otherwise, that they needed to have their eyes checked. “Adam Kennedy didn’t touch the ball from my view on Thursday night and we support the decision,” the Football Operations boss managed to tell reporters with a straight face.
Where those watching the tape had just 20 seconds to make their incorrect decision, Steve Hocking had two days. Where the goal review team made a genuine error, Hocking has made a calculated decision. That he chose to deny the error once again, shows the contempt AFL House has for its major stakeholders – the fans.
What a weekend of results!
It started with Essendon overcoming the highflying Giants in a thriller at Marvel Stadium and ended with a rousing victory by an understrength Carlton in the west. In the washup, it means that with seven rounds to play, just one game separates eighth placed Fremantle and 14th placed St Kilda.
Strap yourselves in for a gripping run to September.
Cats Bounce Back, Challengers Stumble
Geelong avoided the curse that befell a number of favourites this weekend and defeated the Crows at GMHBA Stadium. While the competition leaders reasserted themselves at the top of the tree, the teams that were considered the those most likely to challenge had a weekend to forget.
Despite being put on notice by their coach a week earlier after a disappointing performance in victory over the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood were diabolical against North Melbourne. Their top four bona fides will be put to the test over the next month with a serious of tricky contests against Hawthorn, West Coast, GWS and Richmond.
The Giants were another team to have their Premiership credentials dented with their defeat to the Bombers. Already a team with questionable claims due to their poor form in Melbourne, another loss to a team outside the eight raises genuine doubts about their chances to go deep in September.
It was all the coach!
The improvement in form of both North Melbourne and Carlton will have done little for the job security of coaches of the competition’s poor performing clubs. Both teams had rousing victories on the weekend which saw North Melbourne move within one game of the eight and Carlton off the bottom of the ladder.