AFL Scraps Grand Final Replays In Favour Of Extra Time

19/04/2016 6:12 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Quinn Rooney via Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Jason Blake and Brendon Goddard of the Saints and Dayne Beams of the Magpies react as the siren sounds at the end of the game and it is a draw during the AFL Grand Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 25, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The AFL has decided that grand final replays will happen no longer.

Tuesday's meeting of the AFL Commission said enough is enough with the old method of coming back next week and doing it all again. Instead, extra time will be used.

“The AFL Grand Final Replay has been a unique and historic aspect of the AFL, but ultimately this is the right time to implement a change,” AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said.

“The AFL is a truly national competition and this change eliminates the possibility of non-Victorian teams being disadvantaged by a significant travel burden if they had been required to return to the MCG for a Grand Final Replay.

“This decision also reflects the majority view of AFL clubs and fans who support playing extra time to determine the Grand Final instead of a replay the following week."

The decision comes after fans flooded a poll on the AFL, with 70 percent of the 20,000 respondents calling for an end to grand final replays in favour of extra time in the premiership decider.

So here's how extra time will work.

For any drawn match, effective from this year’s 2016 finals series, teams will play two five-minute halves of extra time, changing ends during a break in play between the two halves.

If scores remain level at the end of the second half of extra time, the siren will not sound and play will continue until the next score by either team. The siren will then sound directly after the score is confirmed, signalling the end of the match.

This last bit is controversial. Fans, as well as most people close to the game, are happy with extra-time. But most want next goal, not next score, to determine the winner.

Otherwise this all seems to make sense for the reasons stated above by Fitzpatrick.

The last drawn grand final was in 2010 when Collingwood 9.14.68 drew with St Kilda 10.8.68. Collingwood won the replay easily.

There have been two other drawn grand finals in the history of the AFL and its predecessor, the VFL. The NRL and its predecessor, the NSWRL, abandoned grand final replays in 1979 after two straight grand final draws.

The AFL push to abandon drawn grand finals was given two thumbs up by St Kilda veteran Leigh Montagna, who said this of his experience in 2010.

'"To know you're going out there to play your final game in a Grand Final and to have to be told you're coming back the next week, I don't think that should happen to any other player ever again."

st kilda drawn grand final

We've got to come back next week? Ugh.

But there's no pleasing everybody in life. Some still weren't convinced the AFL had gone hard enough.

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