AFL fans cringe at 13-year low

AFL fans have unleashed on the umpires of Thursday night’s game between the Cats and Lions, after a whopping 37 free kicks were blown before the main break.

Not since round 15 of 2008 — in another Geelong clash — have so many frees been awarded in a single half.

The total almost exceeded the average number of frees for an entire AFL match (38) in season 2021.

Pundits lamented that the overly zealous match officials extinguished the heat from the contest with their whistle-happy ways.

“Stop blowing the whistle,” wrote Port Adelaide legend Kane Cornes on Twitter.

Let them play. Bit of niggle is great#AFLLionsCata

Whistle needs to go away second half. Enjoying the niggle immensely

Love to see the stats on umpire whistles in this match #AFLLionsCats#ridiculous

Most notably, fans accused Brisbane’s Joe Daniher of taking a dive in an effort to earn a free inside 50.

It paid off, and the former Bomber was able to use the dubious free to slot his second of the night.

“That’s not a free kick,” said Matthew Richardson in his call of the game.

“Joe knew he was in trouble with his positioning; I’ve done that as a forward, you know you’re in trouble so you don’t push back and he’s milked the free kick, simple as that.”

"That's not a free kick!"

The Cats weren't happy with Joe Daniher's acting here…

📝 BLOG: https://t.co/stHGAjIkQM
🔢 MATCH CENTRE: https://t.co/jVJSnVUT9k
📺 WATCH #AFLLionsCats on @kayosports: https://t.co/qCxmtFFVxTpic.twitter.com/oCcECwZhpk

Brisbane flexed its muscles throughout the first term, becoming the first team to hold Geelong to just one point at quarter time since 2012.

Apparently eager to even the ledger after their one-point loss to Geelong in round two, the Lions ripped through the corridor at will.

Lincoln McCarthy helped himself to two majors, while Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron also kicked it through the big sticks in the opening term.

After kicking the first goal of the second, the Lions became the first team to kick five consecutive goals against Geelong this season and looked on track to hand coach Chris Fagan the perfect belated birthday present.

The Brisbane supremo celebrated his 60th birthday on Wednesday.

While three consecutive second term goals helped Geelong back into the contest, Brisbane was able to steady the ship and charge out to 34-point halftime lead.

Neither side proved prolific on goal early in the third as time appeared to be getting away from the visitors.

When Daniher and Cameron notched their fourth and third, respectively, late in the quarter, the result was all but sealed.

The Lions snapped Geelong’s six-game winning streak in impressive fashion, running out 13.16 (94) — 7.8 (50) winners at the Gabba.

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