'Absolute disgrace': AFL preliminary final rocked by 'diabolical' farce

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

The AFL’s score review system has been slammed yet again after a goal that replays showed was touched wasn’t overturned in the GWS and Collingwood clash.

GWS were heading for their first-ever Grand Final clash after leading Collingwood by 20 in the fourth quarter.

But a Josh Thomas goal appeared to be touched by GWS star Lachie Keefe.

Collingwood was awarded a goal despite replays appearing to show a GWS defender touching the football. (Image: Fox Sports)

Gerard Whateley said on SEN that it was a “catastrophic failure of a diabolical review system,” after replays suggesting the football was touched were ignored and the goal was awarded.

Fortunately, the decision didn’t cost the Giants after they held on for the victory despite a fast-finishing Collingwood.

Despite the win, fans and commentators were left fuming the Score Review System could still make such an error in an important game.

GWS win thriller

GWS are through to their first-ever AFL grand final after they stunned hot favourite Collingwood in a four-point preliminary final thriller at the MCG.

The Giants led by a game-high 33 points early in the final term on Saturday, but had to withstand a stirring late challenge by the Pies, who kicked the last four goals of the match only to fall agonisingly short - 8.8 (56) to 7.10 (52).

If the Magpies had managed to fall over the line, it would have been a controversial win after Josh Thomas was awarded a goal in the last quarter that appeared to be touched off the boot.

Thomas' next goal with seven minutes to go in the game sliced the margin to six points and set up a frantic finale with the ball camped out in the Magpies' front half.

But Nathan Buckley's men could find a way past the brave Giants, who hung on for the most famous win the club's eight-season history.

Tim Taranto of the Giants is congratulated by team mates after kicking a goal during the AFL Preliminary Final match. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The vast majority of the 77,828 fans in attendance wore black and white and they left the MCG with broken hearts for the second time in two years, following on from last year's grand final defeat to West Coast.

Star players Toby Greene (suspension) and Lachie Whitfield (appendicitis) were ripped from Leon Cameron's line-up in the week leading up to the clash, and co-captain Davis (calf) was hobbled early.

But the Giants were simply tougher in the clinches, winning more than their share of ground balls and dominating the territory game in the first three quarters.

The Pies had been desperately disappointing for the most part, but somehow sprang to life after the last change.

They attacked in waves in a way that they hadn't managed for most of the match, Brodie Grundy leading he way with an incredible 73 hitouts.

Josh Thomas and Brayden Maynard were dejected. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

But this was a GWS story.

Nick Haynes was superb across half-back with 30 possessions and nine marks, Zac Williams gathered 25 touches with 10 clearances and a goal.

Josh Kelly (27 possessions) and Tim Tarranto (26) also made important contributions.

Master tagger Matt De Boer went to Scott Pendlebury and kept the Pies skipper to 18 possessions.

with AAP