InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Ditching Grand Final replay will produce "the best game in AFL history"


Ditching the grand final replay has the AFL confident it will produce the greatest game in the league’s history.

Comments Print article

The AFL commission decided on Tuesday to abandon the replay, which was needed most recently six years ago, after St Kilda and Collingwood played out a heart-stopping draw.

From now, all finals matches that are drawn will be decided by two five-minute periods of extra time.

If the match is still level, play will continue until a “golden score”.

That means a rushed behind could decide the premiers.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said abandoning the replay ensures the grand final drawn at full time would go down as a classic.

“You get yourself into a grand final and it’s a gripping [game] – and instead of having the flat feeling at the end that no-one has won, you actually produce the game for all ages,” he said.

“You have a fight out there on the day and you walk away saying ‘that is the best game in the history of AFL’.

“The chances of that happening out of a replay are diminished.”

Collingwood easily beat St Kilda in the most recent replay.

The other two replays were in 1948 and ’77.

AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said a big reason for the change was the non-Victorian teams, especially those in Perth and Queensland. The two South Australian teams have also voiced their approval of the change.

“We took into account the historic value and uniqueness of this issue to our game,” Fitzpatrick said.

“But… fairness to the competing teams in a national competition requires that we no longer demand a replayed match.”

Fitzpatrick said it reflected the majority view of clubs, fans and players.

“[They] are keen to come to grand final day and see the best team win on the day,” he said.

“It’s good to make these decisions when you’re not under pressure to make them.

“It’s been an objective look at the game, the national competition and the impact on interstate clubs.”

If extra time is needed in any final, the teams will change ends in between the two five-minute periods.

If the game is still tied after the second period, there will be no siren until the golden score – a fact that raised eyebrows among some players, including the best afield in the last Grand Final replay.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Football stories

Loading next article