AFL: Adelaide thought they were off to a flyer in their Thursday night blockbuster against the Roos when young crow Rory Atkins kicked what would have been a contender for goal of the year.
TECHNOLOGY was developed to make life easier for officials, but it didn’t prevent confusion from taking over as the Crows took on North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.
Midway through the first quarter Jack Ziebell kicked the ball through the middle sticks and the goal umpire awarded the Kangaroos six points. But the 25-year-old took no notice of the call and instructed his teammates to set up as if defending a kick-in from a behind, because he was sure the Sherrin was touched by the Crows’ Jarryd Lyons and would only go down as a point.
So rather than head back to the centre square for a bounce — as is customary after a major — the players spread themselves over the field, confusing the umpires.
As a replay of the incident was played on TV, the players thought they were awaiting the result of a score review — which they assumed would confirm their suspicion that the ball was indeed touched.
But the men with the whistles were left bamboozled because they didn’t call for a score review. That’s when communication broke down between the umpires and those in charge upstairs.
“Has he told you there’s a score review? Are we reviewing it as a score review or no? Because we should be setting up for a ball-up,” one umpire was heard to say.
“They haven’t told us there’s a score review have they? They would have told us.”
One of the men in yellow took it upon himself to get to the bottom of the situation, and once those responsible for conducting score reviews confirmed they were never looking at anything, the goal was given — much to the dismay of the Adelaide faithful who booed loudly.
“Score reviewer can you please confirm we are right to go?
“Guys it’s been given a goal, it’s going to be a goal.”
Jack Ziebell was awarded a goal, but there was some confusion following the kick. #AFLCrowsNorth https://t.co/3wIqVUmVyk
— AFL (@AFL) June 23, 2016
Clear as mud, right?
The debacle took place after Adelaide’s Rory Atkins had a goal disallowed when a review decided his kick had been touched on the way through the posts, and it left plenty of people up in arms about the score review system.
AFL legend Leigh Matthews called the incident “the strangest thing I’ve ever seen” in commentary.
Oh dear, the goal review has gone completely mad @GerardWhateley #AFLCrowsNorth
— Leonie Wainwright (@leoniew27) June 23, 2016
The @AFL goal review system #AFLCrowsNorth pic.twitter.com/nShmzMJrKp
— Dean Phelps (@DeanPhelps71) June 23, 2016
If you’re going to review one goal and overturn it, then you have to review all questionable scores in the game. #AFLCrowsNorth
— The Book Vulture (@TheBookVulture) June 23, 2016
Goal umpires are offering a Thursday night special: Kick a point and the score review will throw in a goal to go with #AFLCrowsNorth
— Abby (@__abbyjane) June 23, 2016
Score review guys fallen asleep? #AFLCrowsNorth
— Jason Gram (@gramsy_1) June 23, 2016
The home side led 26-8 at quarter-time with Matt Crouch having a blinder, racking up 11 disposals in the opening term. But the Roos kicked ahead in the second and went into the main break with a four-point advantage, leading 41-37.
They lost Farren Ray though after he copped some friendly fire in the second quarter. A teammate kicked the ball directly into his face and he was taken from the field with suspected concussion. North Melbourne reported he would not return.
Falcons are normally cause for hilarity and ridicule, but this was no laughing matter for Ray.
Farren Ray looks unlikely to return to the game after this painful falcon. #AFLCrowsNorth https://t.co/hnS3WcopNt
— AFL (@AFL) June 23, 2016
Footy journalist Jon Ralph said on Fox Footy the hardness of the Sherrins meant they could cause serious injury.
“They’re pumped up so hard, they’re almost weapons these days,” Ralph said.
More to come …