Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has launched a sensational attack on Hawthorn and coach Alastair Clarkson after his vocal criticism of the AFL’s game style two weeks ago.
Since Clarkson bemoaned that the game was in a “dreadful space”, his team have been involved in two dour performances, the latest being the Friday night loss to Collingwood which saw Hawthorn record its lowest score in a VFL/AFL match since 1964.
Cornes suggested that the problem was with Clarkson’s coaching, not the AFL’s game style, saying that the master coach had been made to look “foolish”.
“The game of AFL is not in a ‘dreadful space’, to use Clarko’s term, Hawthorn’s game style is in a dreadful space,” he told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“If you’re going to have a sulk and have a whinge and have a complain about the state of the game, you might have to look in your own backyard.
“The way that Hawthorn are playing the game at the moment is absolutely dreadful. You look at their form on Friday night, they had 318 disposals, they had 91 uncontested marks, which equated to 32 Inside 50s. They play boring, slow, sideways football.
Their handball receives are down, their metres gained are down and they’re in the bottom five for scoring in the competition, so I just think you’ve got to be a bit careful when you have a crack at the AFL when your team plays like this.
“Since he made those comments a few weeks ago, he’s been made to look a little bit foolish unfortunately, Alastair Clarkson.”
Clarkson was not the only person at the club to be clipped by Cornes, with the Power great suggesting that the club captaincy should be taken off Ben Stratton.
“There needs to be a change in attitude there and I also think there needs to be pressure on the leadership as well,” he said.
“Ben Stratton, in hindsight was a strange choice as captain at the time and there probably needs to be a change there at the end of the year.
“Go younger and completely turn it over because there hasn’t been too many highlights for Ben Stratton.
“There’s just not a lot of inspiration coming from that man Ben Stratton who just doesn’t influence games like a captain needs to.
“There’s a whole raft of changes that need to happen at Hawthorn including the captaincy at the end of the year.”
Cornes also questioned the recruitment policy of Hawthorn under Clarkson, which sees the playing list with bereft of a lot of young talented players.
“With the lack of draft picks coming through, they’re going to have to make a choice,” he said.
“I’m not sure I want to see trades like O’Meara and like what you give up for Wingard when you’re in that state.
“If you are in the middle of the road, what’s the point of giving up elite draft picks and a good young player in Ryan Burton? You only do that if you believe you can challenge for a premiership.”