The AFL world was left fuming on Saturday night when Ben Brown was paid a free kick despite what appeared to be some obvious staging.
Brown was immense as North Melbourne salvaged their first win of the AFL season, edging Adelaide by 12 points to ease pressure on coach Brad Scott.
The big man kicked four goals, including three in quick succession, to help his side post a 9.17 (71) to 8.11 (59) victory at Marvel Stadium.
However a controversial moment in the third quarter stole the spotlight.
During a ruck contest, Brown appeared to take a huge dive after copping minimal contact from his opponent.
Umpire: "You cannot push him off the ball and then go back for the ball."
— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 13, 2019
However the umpires fell for the play-acting and awarded Brown the free kick, leaving fans and commentators livid.
“That is outrageous,” retired great Brendon Goddard said.
Brendon Goddard scathing on these Ben Brown frees on @abcgrandstand “That is outrageous.”
“Umps make a stand and say Ben, stop flopping or staging for free kicks.”#AFLNorthCrows
— Alister Nicholson (@AlisterNicho) April 13, 2019
Umpires need to wake up to players like Ben Brown. #AFLNorthCrows
— Emmee (@blueemmee) April 13, 2019
What is going on with umpiring? If that’s a free to Brown, a crisis … I’m in shock … as @mattricho0 said “outrageous” …
— Mark Stevens (@Stevo7AFL) April 13, 2019
Our side is embarrassing at the moment doesn't help that ben brown gets weak free kicks
— James Hampton (@HammerHampton50) April 13, 2019
AFL umpiring has completely lost the plot #AFLRoosCrows That wasn't a free kick
— Jaclyn Jaeger (@JackJaeger7) April 13, 2019
Biggest dive i've seen in a while! Ben Brown should be really embarrassed at that. Win your own ball Ben.
— MoniqueD (@Monique21895741) April 13, 2019
Brown finished with four goals, three of which came from debatable free kicks paid against Crows defender Daniel Talia.
While the Roos appeared to have the rub of the green, the floodgates always threatened to open after a first half where they scored 3.10 from 33 inside-50s – twice as many as the Crows, who led by 14 points at the main break.
“The scoreboard probably flattered us at halftime,” Adelaide coach Don Pyke said.
“When you’re defending for long periods of time, eventually the dam wall breaks and that’s what happened a bit more in the third quarter.”
It was another sub-par performance from Adelaide, who surprisingly dropped star midfield recruit Bryce Gibbs and have managed just one win from four games.