'Gutless': AFL world in uproar over star's 'horrific' act

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Seen here, Brisbane defender Darcy Gardiner's late hit in the back of Collingwood's Josh Daicos.
Brisbane defender Darcy Gardiner's late hit in the back of Collingwood's Josh Daicos was condemned by AFL fans. Pic: Fox Sports

Footy fans have hit out in anger over a controversial hit from Brisbane's Darcy Gardiner in his side's win over Collingwood on Thursday night.

Collingwood started fast and threatened late but Brisbane held on for a seven-point win to maintain their dominance at a sold-out Gabba.

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The Lions won 15.8 (98) to 14.7 (91), overcoming a 13-point quarter-time deficit, building a 25-point lead and then facing some nervous moments as the Magpies refused to go away.

However, the home side's win was somewhat soured by the incident involving Gardiner that's expected to see the defender sidelined for at least one week.

Gardiner sparked uproar just before quarter time when he clattered into the back of Josh Daicos after the Collingwood player had already taken the mark.

The Lions player looked to have ample time to pull out of the contest when he realised he was going to be a distant second to the footy, but Gardiner inexplicably went through with the bump into the back of his opponent.

Gardiner was put on report for the incident which saw Pies players rush in to confront the Brisbane defender and stand up for their teammate.

The unnecessary hit sparked uproar from commentators and fans, with many describing it as a "dog" act and a "gutless" move from the Lions defender.

“It’s a bad error,” AFL legend Leigh Matthews said on Channel 7.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to know you’re going to be there too late. And Darcy Gardiner was going to be there too late and he just kept going.

Luke Hodge said: “You could tell as soon as he did it, they’ve come in to push and shove and he just stood there, he didn’t argue.

“He knew he did the wrong thing there. It’s fair to say he’s going to have a week or two rest.”

Lions hold on for thrilling victory

Victory improved the Lions' (4-1) Gabba regular season record to 29-1 since the Magpies (2-3) thumped them by 62 points in the corresponding fixture three years ago.

Lachie Neale had 33 touches and a goal in his 200th game while Joe Daniher continued his fine form with four goals built on confident pack marking and set-shot kicking.

Scott Pendlebury tagged Neale in the first quarter and, despite the Lions' midfielder kicking a goal, took the points as the Magpies booted five goals.

Neale quickly shrugged him though, collecting 14 of his disposals in a match-turning second quarter.

It helped Brisbane to the first six goals of the term and a 13-point halftime lead that accurate kicking meant they never relinquished.

"They (Magpies) showed a lot of character ... so I'm really pleased, after a shonky first quarter, to find our mojo around the contest," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.

"He (Neale) was enormous in the second quarter ... the one that really got us going.

"He took the team on his shoulders and carried us a bit, it was brilliant to see."

Seen here, Brisbane's Lachie Neale is chaired off after starring against Collingwood in his 200th game.
Brisbane's Lachie Neale is chaired off after starring against Collingwood in his 200th game. Pic: Getty

Jack Crisp had 36 disposals and 11 clearances for Collingwood, while Pendlebury and Nick Daicos had 27, Jeremy Howe 14 in his 200th game and Jordan de Goey kicked four goals.

Daniher kept popping up when Brisbane needed something and Marcus Adams was similarly solid in defence, even breaking a five-year goal drought when he muscled one from outside the arc as the Lions again threatened to sprint away.

Nathan Kreuger's second goal pegged the lead back to 18 at the final break, before Darcy Gardiner was pinged for holding the ball and de Goey made it an 11-point game.

Mason Cox then earned another free kick for the visitors but missed his set shot, Daniher and Daniel McStay not making the same mistake at the other end.

A cramping de Goey bent his third goal of the fourth quarter to again give Magpies fans hope in the final three minutes, Callum Ah Chee's terrific tackle on a free-wheeling Crisp sealing victory.

with AAP

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