Adelaide Crows great Mark Ricciuto made headlines last week when he discussed the salaries of several key players to have left the club in recent seasons - and it seems his honesty has come back to bite him.
Ricciuto was quizzed about why the club had been willing to let several players walk away from the club - notably the likes of Jake Lever, Mitch McGovern, Hugh Greenwood and Charlie Cameron, among several others.
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His comments ruffled the feathers of rival clubs, but now Gold Coast Suns midfielder Hugh Greenwood did his talking on the field.
Re-tweeting a Channel 7 stat comparing Greenwood’s six individual clearances during the game to Adelaide’s seven as a team, the 28-year-old couldn’t help but take a potshot at his former employer.
“If only I were younger and quicker,” Greenwood wrote, echoing Ricciuto’s comments about why the Crows were happy to let him walk away from the club.
Ricciuto couldn’t help but take the bait, despite the Crows getting pummelled by the Suns - who have typically served as the AFL’s proverbial whipping boy in recent seasons.
Firing back a quip about Greenwood only having 10 touches for the game, Ricciuto got scorched by the former Crows midfielder.
What a shock!! Someone at the Crows more concerned about disposals than actual impact on the game. Who would have thought. 🤐— Hugh Greenwood (@HGreenwood3) June 21, 2020
“What a shock!!” Greenwood wrote back.
“Someone at the Crows more concerned about disposals than actual impact on the game.
“Who would have thought.”
Ricciuto war of words rubs salt into Adelaide’s wounds
Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks admitted after Sunday's latest chastening defeat that the club is in a "world of hurt" and crisis talks are needed.
The Crows narrowly avoided their lowest AFL score on Sunday afternoon in a 12.10 (82) to 4.5 (29) spanking from Gold Coast.
However, the stats don't lie and a third straight defeat for the once mighty Crows has seen the club snatch an unwanted slice of history.
Adelaide is almost certain to finish the round last on the ladder for just the fourth time ever, and the first time since Round 4, 2000.— Max Laughton (@maxlaughton) June 21, 2020
It ends a 360-round streak, the longest active streak for any club avoiding any ladder position. @FOXFOOTY #AFLSunsCrows
On the back of their biggest ever Showdown defeat against Port Adelaide the week before, the Crows lost to the Suns for the first time in their history to sit rock bottom on the ladder.
Despite a raft of changes in coaching and player personnel in the off-season, it hasn't had the desired effect for Adelaide and tough questions are already being asked about the under-fire club.
Herald Sun AFL expert Jon Ralph labelled the Crows' latest poor performance "absolutely unacceptable" in a scathing assessment on Fox Footy.
"Look at some of the horrific stats here as well: First scoreless quarter since 2017, second lowest halftime score.
"Look there's real pressure on Matthew Nicks to get better performances. Quite clearly he's there for the long haul. That was an abject failure on every count."