Essendon response after Fremantle loss, Kane Cornes reacts, Sam McClure

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has butted heads with leading AFL journalist Sam McClure over whether Essendon’s post-game response on Easter Sunday was appropriate after a heavy defeat.

In their latest disappointing defeat, Essendon went down to Fremantle by 48 points at home to seal a 1-4 start to the season.

Bombers skipper Dyson Heppell said after the loss that he was “extremely disappointed”, and that his side was “hurting as a group.”

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Those comments didn’t sit well with Cornes, who questioned why several Essendon players opted to remain on the field after the siren to chat with their opponents.

“I’m old school on this, I don’t care, they don’t look like they’re hurting,” Cornes told Nine’s Footy Classified.

“It’s a perception thing. If you’re an 18-year-old Essendon fan, you haven’t seen your team win a final, you have started the season in about as bad a shape as you can start – you’ve got players hanging out on the ground laughing with their opponents.”

That opinion from Cornes, drew a strong response from McClure, who fired back in defence of the Bombers before the two clashed.

McClure: The siren’s gone, the game’s over.

Cornes: Does it look like they’re hurting? To you, does it look like those players are hurting?

McClure: I bet you they are hurting more than anyone. They’re allowed to speak to someone after the siren.

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Cornes: Did you see fans hanging around after the game for 20 minutes and laughing?

McClure: My biggest issue watching Essendon was how bad they were in between the sirens, not if they were talking to friends after.

Cornes: Don’t tell me, Dyson, that you’re hurting when there’s a perception that you’re not.

McClure: We don’t want players to become robots. Take the captain at face value, if he says they’re hurting, they’re hurting. We should be as critical as Essendon on the field as we want to be, at 1-4 we deserve to be.

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