Melbourne footy great Russell Robertson has ripped into Kane Cornes after the AFL pundit's brutal swipe at Demons coach Simon Goodwin. Cornes took exception to the Melbourne coach's less than flattering analysis of the tagging role Hawthorn's Finn Maginness played on Demon Clayton Oliver, during last weekend's clash at the MCG.
Goodwin used part of his post-match press conference to accuse Maginness of not being interested in actually winning the footy, and playing just to limit the effectiveness of Oliver. "Clearly, Finn Maginness is someone that doesn’t want the ball, so that makes it a bit challenging and a bit frustrating, but he’s (Oliver) a player where we wanted to put him to maximise the team's benefit and I thought he was outstanding for the team, and that’s what we want from those types of guys.”
'SO TWO-FACED': AFL great lashes ex-teammate over infamous saga
The comments did not sit well with Cornes, who launched his own attack on Goodwin, in defence of the "tagging fraternity" the Port premiership great was part of during his career. “Do you know what I’m angry about? Simon Goodwin and his takedown of the tagging fraternity,” Cornes said on SEN. “I can’t believe it. He said that my man Finn Maginness does not want to get the ball. He had one less possession than Clayton Oliver!
“These midfielders cannot cope, they sook it up when there’s any attention that has been put to them. The minute they get one tag for the year they can’t handle it and the opposition coach is forced to come out and whack Finn Maginness. Extraordinary.”
Robertson - who is one of Melbourne's greatest goal-kickers - was clearly incensed by Cornes' savage take, labelling his criticism of Melbourne's coach as "out of line". In a passionate defence of the Demons' coach, Robertson insisted that Goodwin's criticism of Maginness was fair game.
“Fact is in that game, Finn Macgginess (sic) didn’t want the ball, he was intent on purely stopping a far superior player in Clarry," Robertson wrote on Facebook. “He won’t always be like that. Goody called it as it was on the day.
"As a player I’d want my coaches to back his players, so good on you Simon Goodwin and good on you Sam Mitchell... back ’em in. Everybody else can have their opinion but no one gives a sh*t what you think especially paid millions to shoot off at the mouth ex players.
“The worlds (sic) gone crazy... out of line... god get over yourself mate. Also I’m aware that no one gives a sh*t about my opinion... either would Kane, I’m nobody to him but seriously... out of line.”
Simon Goodwin signs extension with Demons
Cornes' criticism of Goodwin coincided with the coach putting pen to paper on an extension at the Demons, in a deal that will see him remain as head coach until the end of 2026. The move will see the premiership winner join Norm Smith, Frank Hughes and Neale Daniher as just the fourth man to coach 200 games or more at the Melbourne club.
The Demons face Sydney at the SCG on Sunday in their final game of the regular season and could finish as high as second with a win, depending on other results. The Dees will be boosted by the return of crafty forward Bayley Fritsch, who has been sidelined for the last seven weeks with a foot injury.
One man who won't feature is star recruit Brodie Grundy, who Goodwin has dropped to the VFL after admitting failure in his dual ruck experiment with Max Gawn. Melbourne recruited the dual All-Australian from Collingwood and hoped to hone his forward craft in attack but the plan has failed to materialise and he now looks unlikely to feature in the club's premiership push, with Goodwin preferring Gawn as the sole ruckman.
"We were hoping for Max to play big time forward as well, and between the two of them we haven't quite had the impact that we would have liked throughout the year," Goodwin said. "That's impacted Brody's ability to play in the team in the last five or six weeks.
"I think from that perspective we acknowledge that part of it hasn't worked. There's certainly areas of the combination that has worked and there are certainly areas of having them both on our list that has worked as well."
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