'That's ridiculous': Anger over AFL young gun's 'arrogant' act

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
A 50-50 split image shows Cam Rayner on the left and Chris Fagan on the right.
Brisbane's Cam Rayner blew what was an almost certain goal - leaving his coach Chris Fagan absolutely furious on the sidelines. Pictures: Fox Footy

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan was visibly furious after former number one draft pick Cam Rayner blew what should have been a near certain goal against the Gold Coast Suns.

Rayner took a nice mark barely 15 metres from goal, but instead of going through a normal set shot routine, the 20-year-old made it only a few steps in before deciding to quickly snap the kick around his body.

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It went horribly wrong - Rayner middled the ball and it sailed through for a behind.

Cameras captured a furious Fagan erupting on the sidelines, and while the mistake fortunately didn’t come back to bite them in the end, critics were quick to jump on Rayner’s ‘arrogant’ behaviour.

Goalkicking legend Jason Dunstall was particularly scathing.

“We love Cam Rayner, we love what he’s doing, he’s going to be a really good player, but he hasn’t played in enough games to be this arrogant,” Dunstall told Fox Footy after the match.

“That’s exactly what this is, this is arrogance. You’ve just taken a mark 12m out on a slight angle.

“You can laugh that off, but the coach isn’t laughing because the good teams have to be ruthless.

“From that position on the ground, that was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen.”

Dunstall said Fagan had every right to be filthy with his star player.

“You’ve just got to tick those boxes. He’s not the only one, but that’s ridiculous and I would be pulling him aside and saying, ‘Get that out of your game, mate’. It frustrates me no end,” he said.

“He’s a good young player, but (Chris Fagan) will spray him for that. Do that against a good team and see what happens.”

Lions coach irritated, but forgiving of Cam Rayner error

Commenting on the moment after Brisbane’s 13.10 (88) to 6.7 (43) win over the Suns, Fagan said that while he’d squared up his young charge over the error at three quarter time, it was a mistake easily learned from.

The Lions further entrenched themselves in the top four with their victory.

“I was a bit dirty on him when he took that shot, but he was dirty on himself,” Fagan said.

Cam Rayner and Chris Fagan are pictured speaking at three quarter time against the Gold Coast Suns.
Lions coach Chris Fagan talks to Cam Rayner at three quarter time of their match against the Gold Coast. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

“We were down a couple on the bench and I was just fairly happy to take 30 seconds every time we got a set shot because I wasn’t sure how we’d run the game out.

“He’s a good kid, Cam, he came straight over at three-quarter time and was very apologetic.

“I think he’ll learn. He’s been a great learner the whole time that he’s been here, so no concerns about that.

“All those things are good for you, to make those mistakes and learn from them, that’s how you become good.”