'What a disgrace': AFL fans explode over 'disgusting' farce

Richmond Tigers players, pictured here leaving the field after their loss to Brisbane.
Tigers players leave the field after their loss to Brisbane. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Richmond fans were left fuming on Friday night when they were on the wrong end of a very lopsided free-kick count against Brisbane.

The Lions came from 19-0 down early in the match, grinding away with a four-goals-to-one third term to prevail 15.12 (102) 11.8 (74) at a sold-out Gabba.

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The Lions enjoyed a 28-16 free-kick count in their favour, leaving Richmond fans and coach Damien Hardwick perplexed.

At half-time the count was 20-6 in the Lions' favour, leaving Hardwick questioning what his side was doing wrong.

“Yeah 6-21 free kicks, it’s pretty hard to win the ball when you’re either second to it or the count’s not going our way,” Hardwick told Channel 7 at half-time.

“We’ve just got to get the ball going our way.

"We’ve got a young midfield, we understand that, but we need to start getting a little bit of luck I reckon.”

Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown said in commentary for Fox Footy: “Gee the free-kick count is lopsided.

"The Tigers will be blowing up won’t they?

“Holding the ball has been quicker and they’ve been a bit hotter on the whistle tonight.”

Fans flocked to social media to express their frustrations, with many labelling the free-kick count a "disgrace" and "disgusting".

Zac Bailey stars in Brisbane victory

Brisbane also won the contested ball 165-137 and clearances 51-25 after the Tigers' hot start.

The victory ensured Brisbane (7-3), after a 1-3 start, remain entrenched in fourth despite the absence of Lachie Neale, Jarrod Berry and Cameron Rayner, while the injury-hit Tigers (5-5) are clinging to eighth.

Zac Bailey kicked four goals, his third breaking the deadlock in a tense third term.

The 21-year-old then soccered his fourth off the ground to build a buffer and ice an influential game against the defending champions, who battled hard without the bulk of their star midfield.

"Zac Bailey bobbing up in a big pressure game ... he is a really opportunistic sort of player; lightning speed and great agility and only needs a sniff," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.

"I'm so pleased with Deven Robertson, James Madden, (who are) not regulars but coming in and playing their role. That was a stand-out for me."

Jarryd Lyons, pictured here celebrating a goal against Richmond.
Jarryd Lyons celebrates after kicking a goal against Richmond. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Hugh McCluggage (27 disposals) was key to dragging the Lions back into it while captain Dayne Zorko had 28 touches and Bachar Houli (27) was one of the Tigers' best in a side missing at least six top-liners.

"We absorbed some punches ... kept them to six goals in the first half was a herculean effort," Hardwick said.

"We expect to play better though, so disappointed, but in fairness probably playing the form side of the competition."

Irish second-gamer Madden was confident with a late, crucial first AFL goal for Brisbane while the niggling Rhys Mathieson (20 disposals, one goal) showed his value after spending all but one game as the next-man-up last season.

Eric Hipwood (four goals) continued his strong season but it was opposite number Jack Riewoldt (three goals) who had the early hot hand.

He was all over Lions defender Marcus Adams in the first term, beating him three times for three goals as the Tigers started sharply.

Keidean Coleman and Charlie Cameron popped up with goals to steady Brisbane while Jack Graham had the instant reply as the Tigers swarmed on every loose ball.

with AAP

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