Darcy Moore and Kyle Langford after the 2024 Anzac Day match ends in a draw. Picture: AFL Photos

ANZAC Day Medallist Zach Merrett has thrown his support behind the introduction of extra time for home-and-away matches after Essendon and Collingwood fought out a nail-biting draw on Thursday.

The Finals series, including the Grand Final, has the option of extra minutes in the event scores are tied on the final siren, but the same does not apply to the regular season.

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"I love competing, I love winning and I hate losing, so I would have loved to have played for an extra five or ten minutes to get a result," Merrett said.

"It's a unique feeling walking off with no team song for [either team]."

Collingwood coach Craig McRae was indifferent about the idea of extra time, musing more on the nature of draws and the feeling it leaves behind.

"I said that to a security guard after the game, 'I bet you they start talking about extra time'. We fought for 120 minutes and we couldn't find a margin. I'll leave that to others to decide, it was a great game," McRae said.

"I would have thought [it was a fair result]. They had great momentum, then we got some back, and it was an arm-wrestle after half-time. This game is always going to be about moments, and how you manage those and situations.


"We're just not sure how to act. Do we have permission to be happy? I gave permission to our guys to still be positive, because there was a lot we did well and still have work to do, but that's like every week.

"Maybe we don't know how to act, the crowd doesn't know how to act, when the siren goes, I don't know what to do. Do we high-five people? I just made sure I got to Brad Scott and told him how good the game was and acknowledged the job he's doing, his group look really strong and are going to be hard to beat."

Scott was equally undecided, instead putting it in the hands of the supporter base.


"I don't have a strong view, I can make an argument for and against. I think the game comes back to the fans – the Bomber army today, I think it was our highest home-and-away crowd ever, in terms of our home games. The support we're getting is unbelievable," Scott said.

"For them, if you ask the fans, I think they want a result. It's an even comp, I think we fixed the major one – we don't want a draw in the Grand Final, as an industry – but I don't have a strong view for or against. If I was at the AFL, I'd poll the fans."

Forward Harry Jones was subbed off in the final quarter after a head collision with Darcy Cameron and was left bleeding profusely from his nose. Jones was cleared of any facial damage, but coach Brad Scott was moved to once again call for the removal of the sub role.


"He's fine and no concussion, they cleared him. But it's such a difficult one, because they have to assess him. 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," Scott said.

"It's one of those frustrating (ones) – 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.

"But then we're sitting there with the fresh player, while we're assessing a key forward, while the game is on the line. 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.

"Five or four (on the bench, instead of), a sub? We brought back the rule everyone hated."


Scott said Kyle Langford addressed his teammates in the rooms directly after the game having missed a crucial set shot late that would have given the Bombers the four points.

"It was a great opportunity for me as coach," Scott said.

"He's got an incredibly consistent routine that he just drills, week in, week out.

"That's all we're asking you to do.

Kyle Langford looks dejected after Essendon drew against Collingwood during round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"You follow your process, your routine and you try to execute.

"This game is not a game of perfect and you're going to to miss some, but the mistakes that we get really frustrated by are when we go away from our system or what we train.

"If he'd gone away from his process, then there'd be an issue. But he didn't.

"If I'm going to stick true to talking to the players about what we value, that's action and we're not going to hang guys out to dry."