Pre-finals bye saved the Dogs
Photo Source: AAP
The pre-finals bye may have taken away the advantage of winning the qualifying final, but former Sydney Swan Tadhg Kennelly believes it should be retained.
There has been much debate over the effect the bye had on Geelong and GWS during the preliminary finals with many blaming the lack of match fitness for the performance of the two preliminary final losers.
Kennelly told SportsFan that he was convinced the pre-finals bye had an effect on the results on the weekend.
"You have got one game in 27 days in preparation for the preliminary final and that can't be good for you," Kennelly said. "The two teams in the grand final have had to go the hard way. Battle hardened is better than having a rest.
"If you are a player waiting around, there is a lot of tension and nervous energy and then you start over-thinking things.
"The first bye (before the finals) is enormous but the second bye (for the winner of the qualifying final) just disrupts your momentum."
Despite the negative consequences, Kennelly told SportsFan there were plenty of good reasons for keeping the bye.
"If we didn't have the bye the Western Bulldogs would not be in the grand final," he said. "They wouldn't have got the players back to play against the Eagles in the first final.
"I think it has probably been the most exciting finals series we have seen."
Watch Tadhg Kennelly give his thoughts on the pre-finals bye by clicking here or the video player above