Bulldogs forward Cody Weightman's starring performance against Essendon today was met with controversy after a number of leading voices in the game were left stunned by some of the umpiring decisions that went in favour of the young star.
The Bulldogs claimed their first finals win since 2016 with a 49-point thumping of the Bombers in Tasmania, trumping them in a 13.7 (85) to 4.12 (36) victory.
In wet and slippery conditions, Weightman converted when it mattered most, knocking through four goals as the Bulldogs ran away late in the game despite a tight opening first half.
Leading by just three points at half-time, the Bulldogs stamped their authority by keeping Essendon goalless in the second half as the Bombers' 14-year run without a finals win continued.
However, a number of fans were left scratching their heads after all four of Weightman's goals came from free kicks.
While Weightman's first goal - a free kick for high contact - was hard to argue against, at least two of his next three split fans.
Weightman's second goal didn't see well with Lions great Chris Johnson after Sam Draper gave away a free kick for making high contact with the 20-year-old when the pair collided while competing for the ball.
The Bombers at the time were leading by two points before Weightman kicked his second goal.
"I reckon that happens at least 10 times a game and free kicks don't get paid," Johnson said in commentary for Channel Seven.
"Weightman very, very lucky."
Then in the third quarter, Weightman received a free kick for a hold, while his fourth came from a push.
The umpire deemed there was a push on Weightman as he tangled with the boundary line.
"They've called that a push which is a bit hard to find, but he makes the most of his opportunities," Geelong great Jimmy Bartel said of the fourth free kick in commentary.
"I'm not sure where the free is."
Co-commentator James Brayshaw added: "In a tight final in the wet, how is that a free kick? What is that for?"
That goal put the Bulldogs in front by 13 points midway through the third quarter.
The Bulldogs in all received 22 free kicks for the game, while Essendon earned 14.
The reaction on social media was even more hard-hitting, with the likes of AFL media figures Jon Ralph and Dave Hughes, along with radio host and former Crow and Swan Ryan Fitzgerald, all criticising the umpiring.