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May cops whack for staging as Dees-Roos melee sees fines galore, Port gun $10k poorer over strike

Steven May has become the third AFL player to be fined for staging, with the Melbourne defender found guilty by Match Review Officer Michael Christian of faking head contact to win a dangerous tackle free kick.

May threw his neck back before clutching at his head after being tackled to the ground by North Melbourne’s Eddie Ford during the Demons’ thrilling win on Saturday night, with the umpire duly awarding him a controversial free kick.

He has paid a hefty price, however, with the star defender fined $1875 for the act, though it can be reduced to $1250 with a guilty plea.

May’s act was described as ’embarrassing’ by former great Kane Cornes, while Channel 7 commentator Jobe Watson described the free kick as ‘perplexing’ on live commentary.

“It was an embarrassing effort from Steven May, who just has to be fined,” Cornes said on’s The Round So Far.

“The AFL can’t allow unsportsmanlike behaviour like that to go on.”

However, May’s fine is miniscule compared to the monster sanction handed to Port Adelaide star Zak Butters for striking Brisbane’s Jarrod Berry.

Approaching half time of the Power’s heavy loss, a Butters hit on Berry saw the Lions tagger go down on his haunches, with the Port gun giving him a spray for going to ground for good measure.

Christian, though, landed on Berry’s side, with Butters’ fourth striking offence earning him a $10,000 that can be reduced to $6250 with an early plea.

It comes after Butters was fined a whopping $8125 for twin offences in the Power’s win over Hawthorn earlier this season – one for engaging in a melee and another for his third rough conduct offence.

He also escaped suspension for striking GWS’ Tom Green only last week, successfully overturning a one-match suspension at the Tribunal due to the panel deeming his hit had insufficient force to constitute a reportable offence.

Also fined were eleven North Melbourne and Melbourne players – six Demons and five Kangaroos – for engaging in a fiery melee after the half time siren.

Kangaroos Zac Fisher, Jackson Archer, Charlie Comben, Cameron Zurhaar and Paul Curtis, and Demons Harrison Petty, Jack Viney, Daniel Turner, Koltyn Tholstrup, Judd McVee and Blake Howes, were all fined for their involvement, with eight handed $1875 sanctions that can be reduce to $1250.

Zurhaar and Petty’s fines were $3125, down to $1875, for second offences; while Curtis, as a third-time offender, was fined $5000, which can be reduced to $3125.

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