Tim Taranto has responded to a brutal assessment from Kane Cornes with a dazzling display and a cheeky swipe at the AFL analyst, following Richmond's shock victory over Geelong on Friday night. The Tigers ignited their season with a 24-point upset of the defending premiers, with Taranto playing a pivotal role in the victory.
Taranto was at the centre of furore during the week after Cornes claimed he wasn't even one of the best 150 players in the league. The Port Adelaide great also said Taranto had little influence on contests despite his ability to accumulate plenty of touches.
'NOT GOOD ENOUGH': West Coast star slams team as ugly truth exposed
Cornes has been roundly slammed for his comments across the AFL world, with Richmond coach Damien Hardwick accusing him of making controversial statements just to get 'clicks'. On Friday night, however, Taranto provided the most telling response to Cornes, in a performance that made the brutal assessment look rather silly.
The Tigers ace starred with game-high tallies of 28 disposals, 12 tackles and six clearances. Having let his footy do the talking against the defending premiers, Taranto then delivered a cheeky swipe at Cornes after being asked in a post-game interview with 3AW whether he thought he'd broken into the league’s 150 top players.
“Oh hopefully, maybe 149,” Taranto joked. “I’m pretty happy with how I’m playing. I’m playing my role each week for the team and giving it a red-hot crack every week and I’m loving it. I’m loving my time here at the Tigers.
“We just wanted to give it a red-hot crack tonight... everybody has still got belief and tonight it showed.” AFL fans took to social media in delight after Taranto's comments, with many quick to remind Cornes about his questionable take on the Richmond player.
Actually the best thing to come out of last night is Tim Taranto being interviewed after the game and hearing him say he thinks he might have snuck into the top 150 best AFL players at 149. #gotiges #AFLTigersCats
— Tigerman (@TigermanMelb) May 12, 2023
— The Protected Area (@backwiththeflyt) May 12, 2023
Tim Taranto - 28 possessions (13 contested), 6 clearances, 12 tackles, 37 pressure acts, 313m gained. The 150 blokes ahead of him must be pretty good.
— Stu McLay (@Stu_McLay) May 12, 2023
— Dal Jarred (@Dal034) May 12, 2023
Tigers record back-to-back victories
A combined seven goals from Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin helped the Tigers rediscover their best form against the Cats. Richmond booted six majors in their best first-quarter return of the year and held the Cats at bay in the 16.6 (102) to 11.12 (78) victory at the MCG.
After a horror start to the campaign, which led many critics to declare the Richmond flag dynasty over, the Tigers (3-1-5) have now won consecutive games for the first time in 2023. The win did come at a cost though, with midfielder Jacob Hopper substituted out of the game with a left calf injury during the third quarter.
Cotchin returned after a week out of the Tigers' side and kicked three goals in his biggest tally in seven years, while Martin finished with four majors from 19 touches. "They've been threatening for a little while and things started to click a little bit," Richmond's coach said after the game.
"Dustin got the scoreboard reward today that he hasn't had for games previous, and Trent was the same. His two first-quarter goals were really special. What both those players do is just little touches that make the players around them better and that's the measure of a quality player for mine."
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