Tuesday, September 27, 2022

AFL news: O’Meara hopes Hawks can fix Rioli rift, Hinkley in hot seat, Simpson claims Eagles rise

Acting captain Jagger O’Meara is hopeful Hawthorne can mend his relationship with retired star Cyril Rioli, saying he has built a “strong ground” on Indigenous issues.

Rioli and his wife Shanin Ah Sam-Rioli have been ousted from the club, with Norm Smith medalist and four-time Premiership player saying he will not join, while Jeff Kennett remains president.

It is a result of issues that Rioli said saw ties between Hawthorne and its Indigenous players breach until his premature retirement in 2018, aged 28. Rioli and his wife detailed some of the Kennett comments they found offensive and also the racial incidents that the club veteran said contributed to his decision to retire.

“I was really sad to see some of the comments — I wasn’t here at the time, so I can only comment on what we’re doing at the moment,” O’Meara said. “We’re building some really strong ground in this space.”

O’Meara played with Rioli at Hawthorne for 18 months before leaving the sport.

O’Meara said, “I love that guy, he’s such a cute character… to see those comments, it really makes you sad.” “He used to walk into the club all the time with a smile on his face and brighten up your day too.

“We all want to rekindle that relationship and obviously have a slightly broken relationship with Cyril and Shanin at the moment.

“So I’m really hopeful that the club can take some steps… we’re really trying to get better in this space.”

But O’Meara would not be attracted to whether Kennett should resign immediately, saying it is for the club board to decide.

“Obviously Jeff has been a politician and has got a voice. But I don’t read much of any such comment,” he said.

O’Meara said club officials had spoken to players on Saturday morning about Rioli’s comments. “Our Indigenous players feel really culturally secure at the moment, so that’s all I can speak for,” O’Meara said.

“They’re like brothers to us and we really want to nurture that. They’re also doing a great job educating us. Sam (coach Sam Mitchell) is really passionate about it, not just these comments Because of the things that have come to the fore. Ever since he took over… he has put a few different things on because he wants to make the football club better in this space.”

Power Coach Ken Hinckley Looks

Ken Hinckley. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Hinckley in hot seat after poor start

Port Adelaide rookman Scott Lysette says the player group is backing coach Ken Hinckley despite the club’s disastrous 0-3 start to the AFL season.

Hinkley is under increasing pressure after Power’s four-point loss to arch-rivals Adelaide followed a 64 point loss to Hawthorne in Round 2.

Port Adelaide were known as the Premiership Fancy at the start of the season, but are now in serious danger of missing out on the final. Hinckley is contracted until the end of 2023.

But Port Adelaide’s 71-point loss to the Western Bulldogs in last year’s preliminary final – combined with a 0-3 start this season – means Hinckley is under enormous pressure to turn things around quickly.

Port Adelaide will be 0-4 after losing to Premier Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night, but Lycett said Hinckley has the support of the player group.

“Of course the players are all in. We’ve got his back,” Lykett said. “Everyone deals with it at some stage in their career.

“Look at Todd Marshall last week. He was battling it left, right and center, and then he came out and had a really good game (with five goals). It’s just about how you put it. and what do you do with it.

“We’re hearing the noise and we understand, but we’re looking to change that around this week.”

Former St Kilda legend Nick Dal Santo believes Hinkley can turn Port’s season around.

“I’m not writing off Ken Hinckley. I really like him as a coach,” Dal Santo said on the AFL tonight.

“He hasn’t won the premiership in his reign, but I think he’s been exceptional; to back up year after year.

“They need to get their season back on track. What better time could there be than against ruling prime ministers? ,

Fellow commentator Ken Korns called Hinckley’s pressure on SEN “ridiculous when you think about it logically”.

“What is needed now is strong leadership and support for Ken Hinckley and not a three-game-year response to sack him.”

Lycett says his team is not mentally intimidated by last year’s preliminary final, and is optimistic that Power can play the final this season.

“Definitely. I think we can definitely make it to the final.” “We haven’t started well, but it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.

“I would have liked to perform at the end of the year rather than at the beginning. But we understand that we need to move on a bit and start winning a few games.”

Simpson says Eagles will learn from poor start

West Coast coach Adam Simpson believes the Eagles’ nightmare start to the AFL season will bring long-term benefits to the club.

The Eagles have fallen 0-3 for the first time since their 2010 wooden spoon season after being beaten by Fremantle in Sunday’s Western Derby.

But the on-field results have added to the turmoil he has experienced. The West Coast is grappling with a lack of player availability.

After being forced to bring in top-up players for their round-two game against North Melbourne, captains Luke Shue, Willie Rioli, Liam Duggan, Bailey Williams were isolated for clashes with the Dockers.

“It’s going to be difficult to quarantine for seven days and come out and play a game like us,” Simpson told Fox Footy.

“What we learned is that connection is really important and the culture of your football club is important and you don’t succeed without it.

“I’ve certainly seen it really flourish and have fractured before, but it’s as tough as I’ve seen the playing group.

“If nothing else, they get a deeper connection and a better sense of belonging and then that will set us up. It may not happen in the next week or two, but it will pay us back in line. ,

Shui, Tom Barras, Duggan and Rioli are strong chances to return in Saturday’s match against Collingwood at Marvel Stadium, while Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly, Jamie Cripps and Oscar Allen are not far behind.

McKinnon faces AFLW Grand Final ban. Feather

Adelaide’s Montana McKinnon has been offered a one-game ban for rough conduct and is set to miss the Crows’ AFLW Grand Final against Melbourne.

McKinnon was accused of making contact with Fremantle superstar Kiara Bowers during the second quarter of Saturday’s preliminary final win.

The match review officer classified the incident as reckless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

The Demons will be able to select Alyssa Bannan for the decider at the Adelaide Oval after being offered a reprimand for her dangerous tackle against Brisbane’s Sophie Conway in the second preliminary final. Bannan will accept a preliminary plea after the incident is assessed as reckless conduct, low impact and high contact.

Fremantle’s Laura Pugh was not so lucky as she was offered a one-game ban for beating the Crows’ Stevie-Lee Thompson in their preliminary final. If the club does not decide to appeal the sanction, Pugh will miss the Dockers’ opening round game next season.

Nation World News Desk
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