Luke Hodge rips Melbourne young gun's despised act as Demons slump to brutal new AFL low

The former Brisbane Lions player was not impressed with Koltyn Tholstrup.

Koltyn Tholstrup drew the ire of Luke Hodge and Brian Taylor on Friday night as the Melbourne Demons young gun became the latest AFL player embroiled in a 'staging' furore. One week after Demons veteran Steven May copped a fine for faking a head injury to win a free kick, Tholstrup also appeared to over-act in order to get a 50m penalty against the Brisbane Lions.

Tholstrup went to ground very easily and stayed down for longer than you'd expect after being hit by Dayne Zorko after he'd kicked the ball. The 19-year-old appeared to play up the contact in an attempt to convince the umpires that Zorko's hit deserved a 50m penalty - and it worked.

Koltyn Tholstrup and Luke Hodge.
Koltyn Tholstrup's antics (R) drew the ire of Luke Hodge (L). Image: Getty/Channel 7

Despite giving away the down-field free-kick, Zorko laughed at Tholstrup and dragged the teenager to his feet, which sparked a melee with Demons players. “Zorko says, ‘get up, or I’ll drag you up’. And so he should get up as well - from that (replay),” Brian Taylor said in commentary for Channel 7.

Former Brisbane and Hawthorn player Hodge wasn't particularly impressed, and said Tholstrup might be in for the same fate as May. He said: “May got fined last week - is that on the verge? It’s fair enough (that) the umpire paid that because all you see is it’s a kick down there and then the player gets dropped. So, I understand the downfield from the umpire’s point of view. But - if May got fined...”

Taylor agreed, saying: “I’m with you Hodgey. You just shouldn’t be doing that.”

Dayne Zorko and Koltyn Tholstrup during Brisbane's AFL win over Melbourne.
Dayne Zorko dragged Koltyn Tholstrup to his feet after the incident. Image: Channel 7

The Demons went on to blow a 24-point lead in another embarrassing blow for Simon Goodwin's side. Melbourne failed to kick a goal in the final quarter as the Lions roared back to grab an 11.20 (86) to 11.15 (81) victory at the Gabba.

The loss comes amid a tumultuous few weeks, headlined by May's antics, the loss of Christian Petracca for the season and fresh questions over the future of Clayton Oliver at the club. But despite missing a chance to move as high as fifth on the AFL ladder, Demons coach Goodwin insists their season isn't a write-off.

Max Gawn and Melbourne Demons players.
Max Gawn and the Demons leave the field after their loss to Brisbane. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The visitors managed just four behinds in the final term in the five-point loss, with Hugh McCluggage kicking the match-winning goal from the boundary after Alex Neal-Bullen was penalised for deliberately taking the ball out of bounds. Last week North Melbourne scored 30 unanswered points against the Demons, but Melbourne hung on for a three-point win.

"In reality we went a bit safe," Goodwin said. "Big occasion, a lot of young players playing. We probably just went into our shell a bit. There's a bit to unpack in that last quarter ... ball in hand we made a lot of mistakes and that's two weeks now, evidence to suggest we need to have a look at it, and we will.

"The core elements of our game our back in check. It (pressure) was great, wasn't it? We want to be a really strong contest team."

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The loss marks the fifth in the Demons' last seven games, leaving them little wiggle room if they want to play finals in 2024. "There's plenty to play for in this season," Goodwin said. "There's a long, long way to go and we feel like we're building. There's a lot to like in our game."

with AAP