Collingwood star Brayden Maynard wiped out by Western Bulldogs Sam Darcy at Marvel Stadium on Friday night

The football world was deeply divided after well-known troublemaker Brayden Maynard was hit from behind at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

In the opening minutes of the big clash between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs, Taylor Duryea had already been reported for elbowing Nick Daicos when Adam Treloar shot the ball wide of the defence.

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As Maynard prepared to score, Bulldogs big man Sam Darcy was too late, leapt into the air and slammed his raised elbow into the back of the Pies defender.

Maynard appeared agitated and the moment sparked a brief brawl between the teams before the Pie scored from close range after being awarded a 50-metre penalty.

The 27-year-old passed a concussion test and was able to continue while football experts and fans began to analyze the moment.

“Oh, it’s clean, Maynard, Sam Darcy got him with a big push,” Matt Granland said in a commentary on radio station 3AW.

“He’s down and moving, but he got hit really hard, Maynard.”

AFL legend Leigh Matthews reacted on 3AW, saying: “It was body to body but it will certainly still hurt and he gets a 50-metre penalty and is allowed to shoot from about 15 metres.”

“But it was just the late one, so it’s more than a damage, it’s a shock.”

Granland added: “It was a jab. He chose to jab, so he’s in big trouble for that, Sam Darcy.”

Then Essendon great Matthew Lloyd chimed in, explaining: “So (Bombers forward) Peter Wright got four weeks, didn’t he (for his high shot on Sydney’s Harry Cunningham)? But the player was knocked out.

“It was a weak kick… the ball was over Brayden Maynard.

“What you can’t do, you can’t do anymore,” (Darcy) said in a sense.

Matthews then said: “I don’t think it was high though. I think it was just physical contact, but that still means a week or two (suspension) potentially.”

“Right now, Sam Darcy will be wondering, why the hell did I do that?

“He was just a step or two too late and basically shoved him in the back, which is kind of illegal in our game and I guess you get a week for that.”

While the discussion revolved around a possible punishment for Darcy, it quickly became clear that Maynard himself is no stranger to the AFL Tribunal.

The defender was banned for two matches for firing a high shot that concussed GWS’ Daniel Lloyd in a practice match two years ago, and was also fined for staging in 2018.

His most spectacular incident occurred in September last year, when Maynard’s attempted smother knocked out Melbourne player Angus Brayshaw and the defender escaped a penalty.

Fans still reacted violently to the sight of Maynard on the Marvel Stadium turf Friday night, and some rejoiced at the violent blow.

“Maynard gets a dose of his own medicine,” was one comment on X.

“Sam Darcy may have just accomplished one of the greatest individual performances in AFL history,” wrote another.

“The irony of this is priceless,” added a third.

“Maynard was Maynarded,” wrote another.

Others were quick to point out that it was a nasty blow from Darcy.

One commented: “Deserved or not, this is a poor performance from the Bulldogs player.”

Another said: “Enjoy your vacation.”

Another called it a “cheap trick,” and a Collingwood fan simply said, “Haters are going to hate it.”

The Pies started quickly, scoring three of the first four goals of the game to quickly take a lead.

However, the Bulldogs fought their way into the competition and were able to get within three points by the main break. In a decisive battle for the top eight, they were behind by 8.8 (56) to 8.5 (53).

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