Nobody was buying what Tom Mitchell was selling.
The Collingwood star dropped like a bag of spuds during an incident in the first quarter mayhem of the Magpies’ qualifying final win over Melbourne at the MCG on Thursday night.
Collingwood are into the preliminary final after surviving a final quarter onslaught to claim a thrilling 9.6 (60) to 7.11 (53) win over Melbourne in front of more than 92,000 fans.
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Mitchell’s dive has been somewhat overlooked in the wash up of the fiery contest — and the Brownlow medallist will hope it stays that way.
After Christian Petracca awkwardly snapped a shot at goal that wobbled through for a point, Mitchell appeared to say something that triggered the Demons star.
Petracca marched on Mitchell and gave him a shove to the chest, but Mitchell then fell to the ground with his arms flailing.
With the umpires ignoring Mitchell’s plea for a free kick, Petracca roared at Mitchell as he tried to get to his feet with the embarrassment of having the umpires dismiss the incident as a flop.
“He didn’t really do much to Mitchell at all,” Brian Taylor said in commentary on Channel 7.
“Mitchell voluntarily sat on the ground, I would describe it as. Good umpiring. Nothing more than a whistle.”
It was a minor flashpoint compared to the rest of the drama early in the contest.
Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw was left knocked out after a smother from Brayden Maynard went wrong.
Brayshaw was stretchered off the field and Demons coach Simon Goodwin confirmed Brayshaw will miss multiple matches as a result of the contact.
The general consensus was immediately that Maynard was just trying to brace himself when he made contact after jumping to make a smother while Brayshaw still had the ball in his hands, but it will be up to the Match Review Officer with a decision that could well end Maynard’s season.
As for Maynard’s views on the hit, he said it was an unfortunate incident.
“I don’t want to say too much, but it’s a footy act,” he said on Channel 7.
“I came forward, I jumped to smother the ball and unfortunately I just got him on the way down. So I don’t know.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens. But it’s all love. I absolutely love that guy to bits. So yeah, it’s shattering what happened.”
The AFL commentators were divided over the incident and whether Maynard had a case to answer.
Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield said there was nothing Maynard could have done.
“Maynard plays on the edge but in my view, there’s nothing in this because there’s a duty of care to yourself to protect yourself as you come to land,” he said on Channel 7. “There’s nothing in this for me.
“Unfortunately in this game, there’s contact that occurs. He can’t protect himself in that position either (Maynard).
“He’s at the mercy of the oncoming player.”
Matthew Richardson added: “He’s jumped in the air to smother, he then cannot avoid contact. What else can he do?”
For the Demons, it’s a tough road ahead who will play the winner of Carlton and Sydney, for the chance to play the winner of Brisbane and Port Adelaide if they are to make the grand final.