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Hardwick fuming over non-goal in Freo win
Justin Chadwick
12:30 AEST Sat Apr 27 2013

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick criticised the non-use of the AFL's goal-review system after a goal umpire was struck by the ball at a crucial stage of Friday night's one-point loss to Fremantle.

With just three minutes remaining and the Tigers trailing by two points, Richmond utility Matt White unleashed a kick from the boundary that evaded Tyrone Vickery and hit the goal umpire's leg.

Both Hardwick and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon believed the ball had gone through for a goal before bouncing off the umpire's leg and back into play.

No review was called, and the Dockers promptly rushed a behind.

Replays of the incident were inconclusive, and there was a strong chance the ball would have hit the post had the goal umpire not been in the way.

But Hardwick was filthy the incident wasn't reviewed given the critical stage of the match.

White ended up kicking a goal a minute later to give Richmond the lead, but Dockers goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne snapped the winner with 84 seconds left to secure the 12.9 (81) to 12.8 (80) triumph.

"We've got this fantastic thing called a review system haven't we? Fair dinkum," Hardwick said.

"Use it, or don't bother.

"At the end of the day there's a field umpire, a goal umpire, and four or five blokes sitting up in a box upstairs. Someone make a decision.

"Seriously, in a tight game - joke."

Lyon said he understood Hardwick's frustrations all too well.

In the 2009 grand final when Lyon was coach of St Kilda, Geelong forward Tom Hawkins was awarded a goal despite his shot shaving the post.

The Cats ended up winning the match by 12 points.

"I've seen the other side of the coin," Lyon said.

"At the end of the day, we're all humans. We all make mistakes.

"Damien is entitled to voice an opinion but I'll leave it to the papers and the AFL to sort it out."

Hardwick was confident captain Trent Cotchin would be fit for Saturday night's clash with Geelong at the MCG.

Cotchin hyper-extended his knee late in the second quarter, but managed to play out the match and finished with 26 possessions and seven clearances.

Tigers debutant Nick Vlastuin put in a gutsy effort in defence, while former Crow Chris Knights played his best game for Richmond with three goals from 20 possessions.


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