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Does Ben Brown stage for free kicks?

MARKO & THE OX

Staging. Diving. Flopping. Call it what you will.

It’s a part of the round ball game which Australian sports fans loathe but it’s creeping into the AFL and the NRL to the dismay of former players.

We know it when we see it. The player in possession of the ball comes into contact with a defender and adds a fair dollop of mayo to the theatrics as he collapses into the deck. Whistle blown, free kick given, queue the controversy.

North Melbourne key forward Ben Brown is the latest player to enter the staging spotlight – and not for the first time.


Since the beginning of last season, Brown has been awarded 58 free kicks, 9 more than any other key forward in the AFL and his actions have led to calls that he hams it up for the umpires.

Former Melbourne Demons forward David ‘Ox’ Schwarz says the rules need to be updated to eradicate this “bad look for the game.”

“There’s got to be a deterrent in the system so that players who flop, who dive, who carry on either cop a severe penalty, not a $1200 penalty, a $5000 one and the second infringement is two weeks,” Ox said.

“When you’ve got players simulating and carrying on, it’s a pain in the backside to try and follow and it’s a shocking look.”

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MARKO & THE OX
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