Former West Coast premiership player and football commentator Karl Langdon says grand finals should be decided on the day and has called on the Australian Football League to scrap the replay format.
Scores were level at full-time in the 2010 AFL Grand Final, forcing Collingwood and St Kilda to return the following week for a replay the Magpies won comfortably by 56 points.
It was only the third time in AFL/VFL history a grand final had finished a draw.
During regular AFL finals a game that is drawn goes into extra time to decide a winner, but the grand final rules are different.
Mr Langdon, who called this year’s grand final for 6PR radio, said the replay format needed to be changed.
“I think these results should be decided on the day,” he said.
“If they have five minutes each way and it’s still a draw, then they go another five minutes.
“Let’s finish the game. I feel it should’ve been done and dusted then.
“I don’t think the second game was a great contest at all and I thought the first game probably should have been finished on that day.
“I teetered with both sides of the argument but I’m a believer the AFL grand final should’ve gone to extra-time like some of the other finals have done in recent times.”
AFL media relations manager Patrick Keane said the league would continue to use the replay format as it helped ensure the best team won.
“The commission’s view is that the AFL will replay a drawn grand final,” he said.
“We have had three draws in more than a century, so it’s not a common occurrence.
“Hopefully the best team will win, rather than have the potential for injury or one or two incidents decide the outcome of an entire season.”
Mr Langdon said this year’s example when St Kilda finished the stronger, despite being down a man for half the match proved that argument to be incorrect.
“Michael Gardiner went down injured and that disadvantaged St Kilda, but despite the disadvantage they were finishing stronger on the day,” he said.
“I don’t think you can use that as an excuse.”
Mr Langdon said history showed the best team for the season overall did not always win the grand final.
“When it comes to the grand final it comes down to the best team on the day,” he said.
“Look at the best side last year, St Kilda finished top but Geelong won the grand final. So the best team doesn’t always win.”
Keane said despite criticism the AFL was eager to keep the replay format.
“Other sports do it differently, but we are happy to retain the way we do it,” he said.
Over the past six years, four AFL grand finals have been decided by two goals or less.
Published in the Western Independent October 2010