Outspoken AFL personality Kane Cornes has declared the umpires do something to rectify Dylan Grimes’ ‘serial stager’ behaviour amid ongoing discussions around the free kicks he receives.
The Richmond defender has received two staging fines from the Match Review Officer this season alone and was again in the spotlight for going to ground easily on Friday night.
In the third quarter of the Tigers’ 26-point win over Geelong, Grimes received a controversial 50-metre penalty after playing for it.
The decision prompted Cornes to point out the umpires aren’t doing the game any favours the longer they continue to reward the behaviour.
“I don’t blame him (for staging) because the umpires keep paying it (free kicks),” Cornes said on AFL Media’s The Round So Far.
“Clearly he’s put a lot extra on that and he gets a 50-metre penalty.
“Until the umpires want to stamp this out and stop paying it … because we’ve seen all of these are rewarded with free kicks.”
The 300-game Port Adelaide veteran suggested the best way to rid the game of the unwanted concept of staging was for the umpires to stop rewarding players like Grimes with free kicks.
“We know what happened there when Essendon kicked the goal through (Anthony) McDonald-Tipungwuti and it came back, and we’re seeing this one here against the Western Bulldogs – all are awarded with free kicks,” he said.
“What the umpires have to do is identify Dylan Grimes as a serial stager, someone who continually exaggerates contact and not pay the free kicks, that’s the only way he’ll stop doing it.
“It’s a shame because he was the best player on the ground.”
Grimes revealed he received a host of angry messages after his last exaggerated reaction, with social media users quick to point out he might be on the receiving end of the same treatment this week.
Victory in Richmond’s final home-and-away clash against Adelaide will allow them to lock up fourth spot on the ladder and secure an all-important double chance for finals.