Former AFL player turned commentator Kane Cornes has been savaged by fans after a bold call prior to the finals blew up in his face when Collingwood eked out a one-point win over West Coast on Saturday night.
The Magpies pulled off a huge upset against the Eagles in Perth, avenging their 2018 grand final defeat and winning through to face Geelong next week.
'WASN’T THINKING': Match-winner's apology to rival AFL fans
'FRIGHTENING': Fans rocked by sickening AFL finals moment
Coming into the finals in eighth place and amid struggles for form, most AFL pundits backed West Coast to see off their challenge on home turf in Perth.
While those predictions were incorrect, few in AFL circles had been as publicly dismissive of Collingwood’s chances than Cornes, who suggested the Magpies were merely ‘making up the numbers’.
“Collingwood are going to make up the numbers in this one, they’re not winning this game,” Cornes said on Footy Classified during the bye week.
“Just the travel, the quarantine, West Coast, the record in Perth is too much for them to overcome
“As much as I‘ve admired what the Pies have done this year, they’re not winning this game.”
Co-host Tony Jones described the comments as ‘the silliest thing I’ve heard’ at the time and, unfortunately for Cornes, Magpies fans noted his opinion and made a point of reminding him of it after Collingwood’s victory.
Pies love nothing more than being hated and given no chance. Us against them mentality is real.— Dane Swan (@swandane) October 3, 2020
We shouldn't let Kane Cornes off lightly for saying what he did....— John Murray (@SidebySide) October 3, 2020
Cornes himself was prepared to face the music on the Sunday Footy Show the morning after the Pies’ victory, but not before he tweeted a cheeky acknowledgement of his take.
“I’m sure the boys will let me off tomorrow morning,” he wrote.
“Well played Collingwood, what a brilliant football club. #sorry.”
Cornes’ co-hosts were clearly itching to give it to him on Sunday morning, but the former Port Adelaide star was quick to put the dampeners on any silliness.
“Settle down, I got it wrong, but stop celebrating like you've won the premiership,” he said on Sunday morning.
"Settle down, I got it wrong, but stop celebrating like you've won the premiership."— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) October 3, 2020
Last week @kanecornes said Collingwood was "making up the numbers" against West Coast, but after their win last night, he has been reminded of his comments.#9AFLSFS | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/QvqINWo34e
Collingwood spring huge upset against West Coast
American Mason Cox unleashed an early onslaught and Brody Mihocek provided the late heroics to power Collingwood to a famous one-point win over West Coast in Saturday night's elimination final at Optus Stadium.
Cox reprised memories of his demolition job on Richmond in the 2018 preliminary final by booting three goals in as many minutes in the opening term.
West Coast snatched back the lead in a see-sawing final quarter, but Mihocek kicked two late goals and took an important defensive mark to lift his side to a 12.4 (76) to 11.9 (75) win.
The victory sets up a semi-final showdown against Geelong at the Gabba next Saturday night.
"He's showing us his best football now," Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said of Cox.
"He's really hard to defend when he keeps going to the ball at the highest point.
"When he's aggressive in his body work he's really hard to stop. Defenders nearly need to sacrifice a play at the ball to be able to go at him."
West Coast coach Adam Simpson said Cox's early heroics were a big blow to his team's victory hopes.
"They were three good marks. It's a little bit unusual for our boys to concede that," Simpson said.
"Unfortunately in finals especially when they go for 100 minutes, conceding three goals in a row puts you on the back foot. It didn't cost us the game, but it helped set up the game."
With AAP/Justin Chadwick
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.