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Mason Cox's bizarre pre-match act angers AFL fans amid epic Collingwood gaffe

AFL fans were not impressed with Mason Cox's pre-match antics against GWS.

Collingwood big man Mason Cox has been blasted after a lacklustre display in his team's loss to Greater Western Sydney after being involved in a 'cringey' pre-match incident. The GWS fan base were well aware of Cox's arrival for the opening round of the AFL with the American antagonising the supporters in the build-up.

Last November, Cox took a swipe at the GWS stadium and compared it to a 'showground for livestock', which only added to the drama ahead of the round one clash. Collingwood secured a one-point win over GWS in the preliminary final last year, which the big man said would be on the players' minds in an interview leading up to the match.

Toby Greene celebrates and Mason Cox catches a ball.
Mason Cox (pictured) prompted backlash after barging AFL great Shane Mumford in the warm-up in a bizarre move ahead of Collingwood's loss to a Toby Greene (pictured left) inspired GWS. (Images: Getty Images/Channel 7)

But AFL fans were left absolutely flabbergasted with the 32-year-old's 'cringey' move in the warm-up only moments before the game. As the GWS players were warming up with great Shane Mumford, Cox decided to barge through the middle of a huddle and take a mark.

Mumford and the other players did not appear impressed as the Collingwood player didn't look back after the incident. While Cox may have been looking to ruffle the feathers of his opponents, it didn't appear to work.

Cox went on to have a very quiet game with just five disposals, two kicks and three handballs. Led by captain Toby Greene, GWS walked away with the comfortable 18.6 (114) to 11.16 (82) victory at Engie Stadium to silence the reigning champions. And fans were quick to let Cox and the Magpies have it after the ruckman talked a big game leading into the epic first round encounter in front of a sold out crowd.

Collingwood banner fail lights up fans

Cox's bizarre warm-up interruption wasn't the only Collingwood fail of the day. As the Magpies ran out through the traditional AFL banner to start their season, viewers noticed a mistake.

"Roses are red, Giants seem blue, the "hate" us, but we don't mind you," the banner read. And fans were quick to point out 'the' hate us didn't make sense with the 'y' potentially falling off the banner before it was shown to the public.

The banner fail summed up a poor night for the defending premiers with coach Craig McRae admitting Collingwood are in for a tough battle in 2024. "Is it a reality check? I'm not sure, but the reality is it's a tight competition," Collingwood coach McRae said.

"Teams look at what you're doing well and they want to take it away from you. The Giants seemed to play a bit more to their strengths tonight, which is ultimately on the scoreboard."

Mason Cox fights for the ball.
Mason Cox (pictured left) endured a tough night against Greater Western Sydney. (Cameron Spencer via Getty Images)

Giants coach Adam Kingsley was thrilled with his team's performance having put 114 on the scoreboard against Collingwood. "The most pleasing part was our ability to withstand their pressure and put a score on the board," Kinglsey said.

"It's traditionally hard to score against the Pies. They're a terrific defence and a terrific team, and their pressure was still really good. There were times where we didn't cope with it all that well. But for us to put on a big score ... 114 points ... that's a big, big score against Collingwood." GWS captain Greene was absolutely immense for the Giants as they secured a huge home win to start the season.

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