The West

Dennis Cometti: Hird has his Elvis moment

I've got to say the Scott boys are right on the money with their call for the roof at Etihad Stadium to stay closed during every match, night and day, rain, hail or shine.

Chris and Brad made their call in the wake of a thrilling Geelong-North Melbourne battle which was marred by the open roof and an unforeseen final quarter deluge of rain.

I'm sure the twins spoke for the vast majority of fans when they queried why the AFL "don't just shut the roof".

I don't know anyone who thinks the current policy is a good idea.

Only overcast days work! Bright and sunny makes watching the game on TV, playing or even trying to read the giant scoreboard on the city side of the ground a real adventure.

Sunday's controversy came just a day after goal umpire Courtney Lai sustained a serious knee injury at the same venue.

The unsuspecting Lai, a doctor himself, suffered a rupture to both the anterior cruciate and medial ligaments in his left knee when Bulldog Liam Picken arrived like a sack of anvils.

The lack of an adequate medical response was cause for real concern.

The good doctor showed admirable courage as he waited for several minutes before being carried from the ground on a stretcher. Stretcher? A credible source identified a "flat battery" for the absence of an automated cart normally used to transport injured players from the ground.

Regardless of the cause, the time spent waiting was jaw-dropping.

Had Lai had a serious hit to the head one wonders how the AFL could expect not to face litigation.

Fair to say, just for the moment at least, the country's most envied sporting body is looking decidedly human.

Coming off a summer of controversy, the AFL needs to take a deep breath and get a grip!


The West Australian

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