Buddy Franklin called out over pre-match act towards Demons rival

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Buddy Franklin, pictured here opting not to shake Steven May's hand.
Buddy Franklin opted not to shake Steven May's hand. Image: Fox Sports/Getty

Hawthorn champion Jordan Lewis has called out Buddy Franklin over his pre-match handshake snub for Demons star Steven May, saying the awkward moment 'woke up the beast'.

May offered a handshake to Franklin before first bounce in Melbourne's qualifying final clash with the Swans on Friday night, but Buddy didn't want a bar of it.

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May and Franklin were then at the centre of an engrossing battle as the Swans prevailed 91-69 to advance to the preliminary final.

But despite Sydney's victory, May decisively won his battle with Franklin as the prolific scorer was held goalless and only had seven disposals.

May also won seven of their eight one-on-one contests, with Franklin visibly frustrated throughout the game.

Speaking on AFL 360 on Wednesday night, May's former teammate Lewis said Franklin's handshake snub backfired.

“As experienced as Buddy is, you still learn you’ve got to shake Steven May’s hand. So anyone else that is watching, if you wake up the beast, it can actually do more harm than good,” the four-time premiership player said.

“It’s the only time Buddy’s gone goalless all year and he was on an All-Australian defender.

“I was at the game and I saw these two come together and ‘Maysy’ put out a hand and Bud didn’t shake his hand. I thought straight away ‘that’s a mistake’.

“Maysy likes to talk, he likes to be a little bit jovial. As soon as you rattle the cage, for me that’s when he plays his absolute best – and we saw it on Friday night.”

Steven May and Lance Franklin, pictured here in action during the Swans' win over Melbourne.
Steven May and Lance Franklin in action during the Swans' win over Melbourne. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Is Buddy Franklin past his prime?

Eddie Betts said May's dominance of Franklin was 'tough to watch', but dismissed suggestions the Swans champion was past his best.

“Watching the game on the weekend against an All-Australian fullback, who’s an absolute superstar of the game now in Steven May, it was tough to watch," he said.

“Steven May won everything every time the ball went down to Buddy. But I would say hold off on that (‘Buddy is done’ talk) because they’re playing in a prelim at home.

“Then he’s got Darcy Moore coming up – he kept Tom Hawkins to one goal – or Brennan Cox – who kept Aaron Naughton to one goal – if they get up.

"So after that game, I’ll assess then. But I reckon he’s still got it.”

Betts pointed out that Franklin helped turned the game in Sydney's favour despite not contributing on the scoreboard.

“I reckon Bud turned that game for Sydney at that point when he got that free kick and the downfield 50 and they kicked that goal – and then he got another free kick. It actually turned the game for Sydney,” Betts said.

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