Ex­tra­or­di­nary fin­ish

The Sunday Times - - SPORT - Karl Lang­don Karl Lang­don can be heard on 6PR’s Sports­day weeknights from 6pm.

I NEVER want to see another AFL draw.

The 10 min­utes of can’t-look-away adren­a­line filled ex­tra-time en­ter­tain­ment that West Coast and Port Ade­laide pro­vided last week­end was proof ev­ery reg­u­lar sea­son and fi­nals game should be set­tled on the day, where one team wins and the other loses.

The AFL Com­mis­sion voted in April 2016 to elim­i­nate grand fi­nal draws, and that all nine fi­nals would be de­cided by ex­tra time.

But they now need to take the fi­nal step.

Draws are al­ways flat. The play­ers don’t know how to re­act, the fans cer­tainly go home empty handed. At home, there is no song for the TV view­ers.

It’s a bit like open­ing a Christ­mas present in a gi­ant, gift-wrapped box only to dis­cover it’s em­broi­dered han­kies and Brut. Sorry Nana.

Now I know that in the home-and-away rounds there is a next week, un­less it is round 23, but it would add even more drama.

If teams are not good enough to get the job done dur­ing nor­mal time, then play ex­tra time un­til it’s set­tled.

This sea­son alone we would have had three ex­tra-time sce­nar­ios to talk about dur­ing the home-an­d­away sea­son, in round 15 (GWS and Gee­long), in round 16 (Hawthorn and GWS) and round 19 (Colling­wood and Ade­laide).

If these games were de­cided on the day it would have changed the make up of the top eight, maybe even the top four.

If GWS lost both matches they would have ended the sea­son on 56 points and dropped to sixth on the AFL ta­ble; if they had won both matches they would have moved into the top two and Gee­long would have fin­ished fourth.

It would have meant that in the first week of fi­nals Ade­laide would have played Gee­long at the Ade­laide Oval and GWS would have played Rich­mond at Spot­less Sta­dium. There would have not been one fi­nal in Mel­bourne in the first two weeks of fi­nals.

How would the Vic­to­ri­ans have han­dled that I won­der?

For the broad­caster, fans and other ma­jor stake­hold­ers, ex­tra time would add another dy­namic, a true test of men­tal skill and en­durance.

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