Brisbane has pulled off a final minute miracle to send Richmond crashing out of the finals race in 2022, with a two-point victory at the Gabba on Thursday night.
But the win wasn’t without controversy before milestone man Joe Daniher’s match-winner, with Tiger Tom Lynch denied his own match-winning goal on score review.
Lynch marked on the goal line and was sent back on the angle with less than two minutes remaining to push Richmond’s lead out to nine points.
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His snap was called a goal by the goal umpire before the score review began.
Under AFL rules, there needs to be definitive proof to overrule a goal umpire’s call – and that’s what the ARC system determined it had on Lynch’s shot.
“I don’t know if they have a laser that goes beyond the goalpost to know if it goes over it,” Leigh Montagna said on Fox Footy.
“How can you definitively tell it went over the goalpost from the camera angles we were looking at?”
“How you can say that’s definitive is beyond me,” Fox Footy’s Jason Dunstall said.
There was no clear angle showing a definitive miss, with one of the angles not even having the footy in it.
Dunstall questioned whether Lynch’s reaction, or that of his teammates, convinced the score review it wasn’t a goal.
“Just having a look at the reaction from Tom Lynch when he’s kicked it, there’s no celebration. He thinks he’s missed. None of the Tigers’ players are celebrating,” Dunstall said.
“In my eyes, that’s telling me a big part of it.
“If I’m reviewing it and saying: ‘Look at the Richmond players’ reaction!’
“To the naked eye, I thought he’d missed it – but the goal umpire has a different view to us.
“There’s no fist, no pump, nothing. None of the players running in. That’s not a bloke that’s just kicked a goal.
“The players, given the state of the game, you don’t think the Richmond players would have celebrated?”
Montagna said he was not sure the behind call was the correct one to make.
“We are looking at it from a down the ground angle,” he said.
“We don’t know if the right decision’s been made. Tom Lynch wasn’t sure if it was a goal.”
“I’m so glad we’ve brought all these things in to make sure we don’t make errors in finals because guess what, we’re making errors in finals,” David King added.
The score review determined there was evidence “the ball crosses the line over the top of the goalpost”, ensuring it was called a behind.
“They can’t overturn it unless they are absolutely sure,” commentator Hamish McLachlan said in the moment.
“This has gone that high over the goalpost,” Brian Taylor added.
“Unless there is a definitive angle, and I don’t think they have a definitive angle on this.”
Matthew Richardson said the most “definitive” angle was Lynch’s reaction to his kick.
“That’s a massive overrule. The umpire called a goal.”
From the subsequent kick in, the Lions marched down field and it ended with Daniher’s match-winning snap from the goal square with just 60 seconds remaining.
The Tigers had five on one in the goal square, but couldn’t kill the footy as the Lions took the lead and held on for the thrilling two-point win.
Daniher’s goal was just the tip of a frantic final few minutes, that started with Richmond’s Liam Baker putting his inside 50 effort out on the full with the Tigers’ lead at just three points.
The Lynch moment broke Tiger hearts across the nation, but Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph believes the decision will be “ticked off by the AFL” on Saturday.
“I’m not sure anyone really knows whether it made the right decision, and that is something of a failure of that system there,” Ralph said.
“The evidence needs to be irrefutable, it needs to be overwhelming for that to be overturned, because as we know the goal umpire initially called a goal.
“There is a freeze frame here that potentially indicates the ball is over the post, but it’s not directly behind the line of the kick, so we ask something of this system it potentially is not always capable of.
“It’s not a 360-degree system there.
“We know the AFL will very likely tick that one off tomorrow morning.”
The two-point loss ensures Richmond’s 2022 season is done, while Shane Edwards bows out of the game.