Essendon slammed for fake aggression with Richmond, Tony Jones rips Kane Cornes

Essendon can’t do anything right at the moment as Channel 9 stars clashed on-air over allegations the Bombers reacted with “fake” aggression.

Kane Cornes has slammed Essendon for showing “fake” aggression in their loss to Richmond on Saturday night, which he believes was an over-exaggerated response to criticism from club legend Matthew Lloyd.

However, not everyone agreed with the Port Adelaide great as the Bombers continue to draw the wrong kind of attention in their season from hell.

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Loyd last week called out Essendon for not showing enough of a response when Swans co-captain Luke Parker taunted Dylan Shiel, implying the midfielder was scared of the contest.

Lloyd said Parker’s actions were a blatant example of disrespect and the Bombers should have retaliated accordingly by barrelling through him.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell completely rejected that point of view during the week, but his team was noticeably more aggressive during Saturday’s 32-point loss to the Tigers, with several spotfires breaking out at the MCG — sometimes resulting in free kicks.

“Dyson Heppell can say that they’re not going to respond, well they did,” Cornes told the Sunday Footy Show. “Don’t ever let players tell you they don’t listen to the media, because this is purely on the back of media conjecture and media speculation.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing they’ve come out and responded just on the pure media (talk).

“It is embarrassing. It’s Round 10. Why has it taken someone in the media to highlight an issue for them to respond?”

AFL journalist Damian Barrett agreed with Cornes, saying the aggression was “a little bit fake”.

However, Sunday Footy Show host Tony Jones defended Essendon and took exception to his colleagues’ criticism.

“They can’t win, Kane. So if they hadn’t have done it, you would have lampooned them, now they have done it and you say it’s embarrassing,” Jones said.

“They responded.

“Seriously, come on fellas. Back off a little bit. They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”

Asked for his take on Essendon’s performance after his scathing criticism, Lloyd added: “I liked it better than what I saw last week. I think they were a much better team than they were last week, and I’d rather see that than what I saw the week before.”

Essendon has won just twice all season and sits 16th on the ladder after 10 games.

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