'That's a horror': AFL world erupts over 'shocking' controversy

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Matt Taberner couldn't believe he was denied the mark. Image: Fox Footy

Commentators and fans were left baffled after Fremantle were denied a near-certain goal in their narrow loss to Brisbane on Saturday.

Brisbane hung on to relaunch their AFL season with a nervy 12-point win over Fremantle behind four Charlie Cameron goals.

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The Lions threatened to pull away numerous times but the Dockers kept firing back before falling short 12.9 (81) to 10.9 (69) in a near-replication of their tight first-round loss to Essendon.

However it was a contentious moment early in the fourth quarter that stole the headlines and robbed the Dockers of what could have been a game-changing goal.

Matt Taberner appeared to take a clean mark in the goal square, however the ball spilled out of his hands and over the goal line after it hit the back of Brisbane defender Harris Andrews.

Umpires controversially called a behind after ruling Taberner never marked the ball cleanly, however replays appeared to suggest differently.

“I believe it’s a mark, I just want to check if he controlled the football,” the goal umpire could he heard saying.

However on-field umpire Dean Margetts said he didn’t rule a mark and therefore a behind should be awarded.

The umpires conferred before calling a behind. Image: Fox Footy

“Oh no, that’s a shocking decision. That is a shocking decision,” Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown said in commentary.

“That could be costly … wow, that is a horror.

“I know the umpires have had some time off as well, but that’s not a complicated decision.

“I can only think that his vision was blocked … this is as clear as the nose on your face. That is a mark.”

Brisbane hang on for controversial win

The Lions looked all-but home before Michael Walters kicked two final-quarter goals to breath life into the Dockers' charge.

Brisbane then missed multiple chances to seal the win in the dying stages before captain Dayne Zorko's nerve-settler got the Lions, beaten comprehensively by Hawthorn in round one nearly three months ago, on the board.

Earlier, Cameron ran rampant in the first half before being well held by Griffin Logue after the main break.

Lachie Neale's (29 touches) fitness shone late, his two goals against his former club both oozing class, while Dockers captain Nat Fyfe overcame a quiet start to kick three goals and accumulate 23 disposals.

Cameron was electric whenever near the ball, snapping three goals before guiding a tight set through for his fourth early in the second quarter.

Goals to Zorko and Dan McStay helped the Lions build a lead of substance ahead of the main break.

They'd done in the same in the first term too, but both times watched the Dockers close quarters with goals stemming from ill-discipline.

First a Jarryd Lyons brain fade saw a penalty reversed in the middle of the field and Lachie Schulz sneak a goal through to reduce the margin to eight at quarter time.

Then Fyfe won a penalty off the ball to kick his second and again pull the Dockers back into the contest with the final goal of the term.

Matt Taberner (two goals) was deemed to have juggled a mark through the goals to start the final term, while Lions debutant Tom Berry almost had his hero moment late.

Berry ran back and bravely marked about 30 metres out and lined up for what would have been the sealer, only to push his kick across the face of goal.

with AAP