Footy commentators have been left baffled by the bizarre moment Lions pest Mitch Robinson went unprotected by the umpires in a wild melee during Brisbane’s big win over Collingwood at the Gabba on Friday night.
Robinson was shoved to the ground by Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard right in front of the umpires causing Lions players to come from everywhere to pull the Magpies star into line.
Maynard at one point was left squaring off with a handful of Lions stars before his teammates could come to his aid in a heated moment that threatened to boil over.
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Replays showed Robinson started the incident when he ran up into the face of Maynard to give him a serve after Hugh McCluggage booted the Lions to a 20-point lead before half time.
The Lions held their nerve after a late Collingwood fightback to emerge with a hard-fought 6.6 (42) to 5.4 (34) victory that cements their spot in the top four and leaves the Pies nervously hanging on to a spot in inside the eight.
After Robinson gave Maynard a verbal barrage the outspoken Brisbane defender turned his back only for Maynard to charge in and shove him into the dirt.
In response Lions players surged in and eventually tossed Maynard to the ground before the umpires could clear the pack and take the ball back to the centre circle for the next ball-up.
“We know he’s a bulldog, but he can’t take on six at once,” Channel 7 commentator Brian Taylor said of Maynard being surrounded by angry Brisbane players.
“Brisbane are all over him. Four or five hanging off him and he says that’s OK I’ll take you all on.”
Footy legend Wayne Carey told Channel 7 the Lions were playing into Maynard’s hands.
“Don’t worry about Maynard he loves this,” Carey said.
“It’s in his make-up. This isn’t manufactured. He loves it hard. He’ll niggle. He’ll try and put them off their game.”
When the dust settled commentators were left flummoxed as to why Robinson was not awarded a free kick for the initial shove.
Hawthorn great and former Brisbane Lions player Luke Hodge said: “The umpire put his whistle to his mouth. He (Maynard) clearly went and bowled over Mitch Robinson. I’m pretty sure if Mitch did that the other way around the umpires would gun Robinson down”.
Hodge wasn’t the only one calling for the umpires to look after Robinson.
Sports reporter Michael Randall posted on Twitter: “Both umpires watched Mitch Robinson get smoked by Maynard then and did nothing. Very ordinary”.
Former Hawthorn star Xavier Ellis posted: “I’d bet my son if the tables were turned and Mitch Robinson flattened Maynard it would have been a free kick against Robinson”.
Seven reporter Nathan Templeton wrote: “How was that not a free kick to Mitch Robinson? Should have been a shot for goal”.
The Lions returned after the half time break to extend their lead to 20 points heading into the final quarter.
However, their third-quarter goal through Jarryd Lyons was their only goal for the entire second half as the Pies cut the margin back to just eight points when Mason Cox kicked his second goal with a few minutes to play.
The Lions held on at the death and march full of confidence into their mid-week clash with the Suns where they can likely seal a spot inside the top two for the finals.