Opinionated AFL commentator Kane Cornes believes the Tigers are becoming a team too hard to like following their latest controversial on-field antics.
Their 31-point semi-final win over St Kilda last night was marred by three separate incidents that put their culture under the spotlight.
Forward Tom Lynch was today fined $750 for putting his knee to the neck of Dougal Howard.
Captain Trent Cotchin avoided any sanction for a high tackle on Zak Jones, that looked like it had potential to cause serious injury, while Nick Vlastuin was accused of ‘cheating’ after insisting he’d touched a Jack Sinclair goal following a guilty look at the time.
The Port Adelaide 300-gamer believes they’re developing an unattractive style of play.
“They’re becoming very unlikeable, I’ll say that about Richmond,” Cornes said on SEN radio.
“They wouldn’t care about that because all they care about is winning and they have the respect clearly but this year they’ve become a really unlikeable team.
“I thought what Trent Cotchin did to Zak Jones, that really dangerous, high sling tackle had more of a chance to cause injury than Tom Lynch’s knee on Dougal (Howard).
“They’ve been a really unlikeable team this year, they’ve been hard to watch at times.”
However speaking from the inner sanctum, Tiger Kane Lambert says their only concern is the behaviour their coach approves of.
“We care about what (Damien Hardwick) says about us,” Lambert said.
“He wants us to play hard, tough, aggressive football and sometimes that may cross the line.
“We don’t go out there with the intention to be unsociable, it’s just a part of our DNA.”
It’s been a difficult year for Richmond off the field, too, with Cotchin’s wife’s well-publicised COVID protocol breach, as well as the infamous strip club breach by Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones.
The Tigers are chasing their third premiership in four years after advancing to next weekend’s preliminary finals.