AFL News: Scott slams sub rule as debate erupts over extra time following Anzac Day draw, Fagan lashes ‘below par’ Lions


Essendon captain Zach Merrett says he would have relished extra time to decide a winner on Anzac Day, while Collingwood coach Craig McRae felt a draw was the right result at the end of a gripping contest.

Almost three decades on from their fabled 1995 draw, the Bombers and Magpies played out another instant classic at the MCG on Thursday.

It reignited the debate about whether extra time should be played to settle tied AFL home-and-away matches.

McRae said he predicted the discussion as he joked with a security guard on his way off the ground after the final siren.

“We fought for 120 minutes and we couldn’t find a margin,” McRae told reporters after the match.

“I’ll leave that up to others to decide whether we need more time. It was a great game.

“I would’ve thought (it was a fair result). They had great momentum and we got some back, then it was an arm-wrestle after halftime really.

“This game’s always going to be about moments and managing those and how you handle situations.”

Merrett won the Anzac Day Medal as best afield in a 31-disposal performance, but was left with a hollow feeling at the end of the match.

“I love competing, I love winning and I hate losing, so I would love to have played for an extra five or 10 minutes to get a result,” he said.

“But it’s a unique feeling walking off with no team song for both (sides).”

Essendon coach Brad Scott said fans should have the final say on whether extra time is introduced for home-and-away matches.

“I could make an argument for and against, but I think the game comes back to the fans,” Scott said.

“For them, if you ask the fans, I think they probably want a result.

“It’s an even competition and I think we fixed the major one – we don’t want a draw in a grand final, as an industry.

“But I don’t have a strong view for and against (extra time in home-and-away matches). If I was at the AFL, I’d poll the fans.”

What an absolutely unforgettable game!

Relive the Last Two Minutes of the Anzac Day Game thanks to Omo Australia.

— AFL (@AFL) April 25, 2024

The Essendon-Collingwood draw was the first of the season, after two were played out last year.

It was the fifth draw in 247 AFL/VFL meetings between the great rivals and their first in 29 years.

Scott was more definitive in voicing his frustration with the AFL’s sub rule, saying he has ‘absolutely no idea’ why the rule exists.

According to Scott, the Bombers were forced to sub out forward Harry Jones midway through the final quarter after a head collision left him bleeding from the nose, with Scott and club doctors choosing to remove him from the game rather than be one player short while Jones underwent a concussion check, which he later cleared, and his bleeding was stopped.

“It’s such a difficult one,” Scott said.

“We had 16 minutes to go in the last quarter, and they had to assess him, so we just made the call – ‘take your time, we’ll sub him, because we don’t have time to wait’.

“I’ve been pretty vocal. I don’t know why we have a sub. I’ve got absolutely no idea. If we didn’t have a sub, we wouldn’t have to worry about rushing the doctors to get a concussion diagnosis or not – we’d just put the fresh player on who’s sitting there.

“If we didn’t have a sub, we wouldn’t have to worry about rushing the doctors to get a concussion diagnosis or not.”

Brad Scott’s take on the sub…agree? Disagree?

— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 25, 2024

“But then we’re sitting there with the fresh player while we’re assessing a key forward, while the game is on the line. [And] the sub’s supposed to take the pressure off the doctor?

“I’d love someone to explain that to me, I’ve got no idea… we brought back the rule everyone hated.”

(with AAP)

Support your AFL team in style – check out The Oodie! They’ve got Adult Oodies for all 18 teams as well as Kids Oodies and even Dog Oodies available in selected teams.  Made from the softest, premium fabrics they are the comfiest memorabilia you’ll ever wear!  #GetYourOodieOn

Fagan curious to see ‘below par’ Lions’ response to Anzac Day thrashing

Chris Fagan says his Brisbane side have to stick together and learn from another confidence-sapping defeat if they are to turn around their poor start to the AFL campaign.

The Lions were handily beaten thanks to a second-half onslaught against GWS on Anzac Day, at one stage allowing nine unanswered goals on their way to a 17.11 (113) to 8.11 (59) loss at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

Fagan admitted his team’s effort-level was ‘below par’ during the second-half bashing that led to the 54-point defeat, but wouldn’t buy into the “doom and gloom” surrounding the 2-5 start to the season from last year’s grand finalists.

He likened the Lions’ predicament to his first two seasons in charge of the club, when they won just five games in both campaigns while building the foundation of a title-contending outfit.

Sports opinion delivered daily 


“This group has been so good for the last five years, I admire and respect them for the efforts they’ve been able to put in over the last five seasons,” he said.

“I’m not gonna sit here and bag the team for the way they performed, I’m in it with them.

“The way forward is together, that was how we became a good team in the first place … we learned from our mistakes, we stuck together and we became a good team. 

“And the way out of the situation that we’re in at the moment, particularly in the way that we played is that exact same way.

“Confidence is a quirky thing in sport, it comes and goes and I’ve got to help those boys find their confidence and connection again.”

The Lions have the Gold Coast next weekend at the Gabba before a trip to Adelaide to face the Crows.

Round five’s upset win against Melbourne remained something of a beacon of hope for Fagan, with Lions mentor suggesting it showed the capability his side still possesses.

“Melbourne has been the only time we’ve been able to turn up and play a really high-level brand of football,” he said.

“But it’s these moments where you find out about yourself as a club.

“It’s a good opportunity, I’m curious to see how we respond in the next few weeks, that’s going to be the critical thing.

“It’s not so much about what happens in a game like this, it’s what you do about it.” 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.