The Melbourne Cricket Club suspects extraordinarily high crowd noise was to blame for difficulties in players hearing the siren last Friday night, but has vowed a stringent check of its audio system will be undertaken in time for the grand final.
Hawthorn players did not immediately recognise the siren had sounded at the MCG to confirm their berth in the grand final, with Cyril Rioli, who had marked the ball within range of goal, passing to Lance Franklin in the goal square thinking the match was still going.
MCC spokesman Shane Brown said it was aware of the apparent problem and had been in discussion with the AFL and talks would continue on Monday after the league had spoken to its timekeepers and match staff.
‘‘It was certainly clear that ... players and umpires had difficulty hearing [the siren],’’ he said.
‘‘We’d heard some reports earlier in the game that [the siren] was maybe a bit quiet, but that it was working. Until we get in [on Monday] we’re not going to know for sure, but at this stage we don’t think there was a malfunction from the system itself.’’
The MCG’s public address system, which is used for the siren notifications, passed a routine pre-match check.
Brown said the difficulties umpires had hearing the verdicts of score reviews during the match may have been an indication of how loud the 85,569 spectators were.
‘‘That tells us the noise around the area must have been so high that you almost couldn’t hear yourself think,’’ he said.
‘‘For us, it’s probably just a check with the people who were operating the siren volume levels, just to make sure that it’s at a level we expected.
‘‘More importantly, we’ll make sure it’s at the right level for next Saturday.’’
Brown said the club was also pleased by the demand from its members to attend Friday night’s match, which was so significant the 23,000 capacity was exceeded and subsequent members were seated in vacant public areas.
‘‘It’s very rare that you see the absolute full members’ stand and large gaps of public seating,’’ he said.
‘‘Given the criticism the club often attracts when the members’ stand isn’t full for big events, it was nice to see the members turn out for a big game.’’