After the Anzac matches were wiped out by COVID-19 last year, both the eve and day matches return in 2021 for arguably their biggest and most important editions yet.
A questionable score review late in Sunday’s AFL four-point loss to Brisbane didn’t cost Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin’s team a chance to win, but it didn’t help either.
The Demons were coming home with a wet sail in the final term at Metricon Stadium, trailing by just three points with just over two minutes to play when Jake Lever marked a ball on the goal line.
Lever played on quickly and the Demons were seemingly on their way to spark another attack when play was halted to undertake a score review.
The review showed Lever had grabbed the ball before it went through for a behind but by the time play had restarted the Lions had reset their defence.
Goodwin didn’t believe the review prevented his team winning the match, but he was left scratching his head about the AFL’s Review Centre (ARC) and its application.
“We’ve got this fancy ARC system but it halted momentum in the game. I don’t think that’s what it was brought in for,” Goodwin said.
“Clearly we were out, we had opportunity.
“It’s not the reason why we lost the game, but it certainly didn’t help late in the game.
“Hopefully we’ll get the ARC system better. It’s nice and fancy but it’s not doing much.”
Of more concern to Goodwin was a moment with just over a minute to play when Bayley Fritsch conceded a 50-metre penalty for taking too long to hand over the ball following an out-of-bounds kick.
The decision gave Brisbane a free pass outside their defensive 50 and ensured the Lions could close out the match.
“That’s one of those occasions that we need to be better,” Goodwin said.
“We’ve got the ball in our half of the ground late in the game and have a chance to win, so yeah we do, we need to be better.
“Discipline is about doing the right thing, at the right time, all the time. Good teams are disciplined sides.”