Kane Cornes rips Melbourne Demons for shaking hands with Brayden Maynard v Collingwood Magpies

The Demons’ friendly pre-game treatment of Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard before the Magpies’ big 38-point win has been ripped by Kane Cornes.

During the clash at the MCG on Monday, Maynard was booed by sections of the crowd, with fans still clearly bitter over the career-ending concussion he delivered to Angus Brayshaw during the 2023 qualifying final.

The hit on Brayshaw knocked him out cold and forced the fan favourite to retire earlier this year after doctors advised him to give the game away due to repeated head knocks.

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At the time of the incident last year, it was reported that Brayshaw’s teammates were angry about Maynard’s actions, as well as his decision to visit Brayshaw’s home to personally apologise.

So when the teams renewed their rivalry in the King’s Birthday clash, fans and commentators were expecting a heated reaction from Melbourne players when dealing with Maynard.

Maynard shown some love by Christian Petracca. Fox Footy

But what they got came as a complete shock to viewers at home and those in attendance.

While the fans kept their end of the deal, incessantly booing the Magpie enforcer when he touched the ball, at the start of the match cameras caught Christian Petracca shaking hands with Maynard, while giving him a friendly tap on the head as the villain in the story reciprocated with a pat on the backside.

The scenes led to critical comments from Kane Cornes, on Nine’s Footy Classified.

“I couldn’t believe the lack of response,” Cornes said.

“That is what struck me. All of the emotion in this game, you wouldn’t believe it, they shook his hand at the start of the game, Brayden Maynard.

“Let’s look at the start of the game… they’re shaking his hand. I couldn’t believe it. A tap on the head.”

Cornes said he was expecting Melbourne players to go after Maynard.

“One hundred per cent they should have,” he said.

“He was the one that hunted them. This was incredible. He absolutely bullied them.”

Alan Richardson, general manager of the Demons, was asked before the match whether the club had mentioned Maynard in the lead-up.

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“It was mentioned in the coach’s meeting, do we need to mention it (to the players)? Do we get some of our more aggressive players to lose their marbles and go above and beyond? We spoke to our leaders, they said, ‘We’re in a really good headspace’ and said ‘no’.”

Maynard copped the boos all day from the Demons faithful, with Magpies legend Dane Swan taking aim at the Demons.

“It’s quite cute to hear Melbourne’s supporters try and boo Maynard,” he wrote on X.

“If you are gonna do something, do it properly. Classless and it starts at the top.”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae paid tribute to Maynard, who was one of the Magpies’ best with 21 disposals and six tackles, saying he has been dealing with some “unfortunate” personal issues in the past week.

Magpies star Brayden Maynard was in the thick of the action in the King's Birthday clash against the Demons.

Magpies star Brayden Maynard was in the thick of the action in the King’s Birthday clash against the Demons. Getty

“He’s got a lot going on … I won’t share the details of it, but off the field it’s been really hard for him,” McRae said.

“So I’m sure he wanted to put on a good performance for the stuff that’s happened outside of here.

“He’s a proud man and he played exceptionally well and we love him.”

When pressed for further details, McRae swiftly tried to deflect.

“I’ll leave it,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, what’s happened in his private life. I’ll leave it at that.”

On the treatment Maynard copped from the Demons crowd, McRae said: “I thought they were cheers, mate. I only heard cheers.”