Tim Taranto hits back amid fresh Kane Cornes swipe: 'Disappointing'

The AFL pundit's latest crack has drawn a lengthy response from the Richmond player.

On the right is Richmond's Tim Taranto and AFL pundit Kane Cornes on the left.
Richmond's Tim Taranto has spoken out after Kane Cornes' latest swipe at his standing in the AFL. Pic: Nine/Getty

Richmond star Tim Taranto says the continued criticism from Kane Cornes is "disappointing", despite conceding the outspoken AFL pundit has a point when it comes to the Tigers star's game. Taranto responded to Cornes' blunt assessment of his standing in the game with a starring role in Richmond's shock round nine win over defending premiers, Geelong.

Cornes had come under fire from AFL fans and Richmond coach Damien Hardwick in the lead-up to the game after claiming the Tigers midfielder wasn't even one of the best 150 players in the league. Taranto finished the contest with game-high tallies of 28 disposals, 12 tackles and six clearances, before taking a cheeky dig at Cornes when asked whether he'd done enough to break into the league’s top 150 players.

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“Oh hopefully, maybe 149,” Taranto joked. “I’m pretty happy with how I’m playing. I’m playing my role each week for the team and giving it a red-hot crack every week and I’m loving it. I’m loving my time here at the Tigers."

Taranto's display sparked more backlash against Cornes, who doubled down on his criticism of the Richmond star on Tuesday night. Speaking on Nine's Footy Classified, Cornes stood by his damning assessment of Taranto by declaring he would never be an "elite player" until he improved his kicking distribution in games.

Cornes showed a number of clips where the Tigers ace failed to find a teammate after booting the footy up-field during games. The former Port Adelaide player said until Taranto improves that aspect of his game, his assessment of the 25-year-old won't change. "He's an effective AFL footballer but until he fixes that he won't be an elite player," Cornes said about Taranto.

On Wednesday, Taranto admitted he was shocked at the constant focus on his game from Cornes, despite admitting that his kicking could do with some improvement. The Richmond midfielder claimed it was all part of a "narrative" that the AFL pundit was desperate to maintain.

“It’s been a bit of a shock... it seems like it’s coming week by week now and I’ve kind of gotten used to Kane’s comments,” Taranto said. “He’s got a narrative and he’s going hard at it. Now he’s going to analyse and find thing to back up his points, which he is allowed to do, he’s allowed to have an opinion and allowed to read stats and whatnot.

“Good on him and I’m sure his boss is very happy with him and I can’t argue with what he’s saying. Just let him say what he wants.” Richmond coach Hardwick - who was a former teammate of Cornes - gave the AFL pundit a public serving after claiming he made controversial comments just for "clicks".

Pictured right is Richmond AFL star Tim Taranto and Kane Cornes on the left.
Richmond AFL star Tim Taranto responded to Kane Cornes' brutal comments about him with a stunning display against Geelong. Pic: Ch9/Getty

Tim Taranto shrugs off Kane Cornes' criticism

Taranto said while he respected Cornes' right to give his opinion and understood that's what he's paid to do, the only feedback he's really interested in is that of the Richmond coach and those within the club. “I mean, what he‘s saying is not entirely wrong. Like I’m not a very good kick. I’m not gonna try and say I am. It’s definitely a part of my game I need to work on, there’s no doubt about that,” he told RSN.

“But it’s disappointing. I feel like I’m doing some other things pretty well. And I guess you know, you can find numbers and you can find narratives and things on certain players to make anyone look good or anyone look bad.

"It’s not very hard to do. I understand what he’s saying. It’s just disappointing that that’s all that’s been focused on.

“I’ve been backed out really well from Dimma (Hardwick) and the midfield coaches and boys as well. They’ve gotten around me really hard and supported me.

"It’s not like it’s a tough time or anything, what Kane has been saying, because I haven’t really experienced that type of criticism before. Everyone’s gonna have lovers and haters. It’s just part of the game and something I’ve accepted and just gotta get through.”

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