Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes isn’t happy with the lack of attention his former club paid towards Dustin Martin in their Preliminary Final loss to Richmond on Friday night.
Martin was one of the Tigers’ best players in their narrow six-point win at Adelaide Oval, kicking two goals and finding the ball 21 times.
Cornes said the 29-year-old, who has made a habit of saving his best performances for the biggest games of the season, should’ve been tagged and not allowed to roam free inside 50.
“(Dustin Martin) is as good of a finals performer as we’ve ever seen,” Cornes said on SEN’s Crunch Time.
“I heard the captain of Port Adelaide (Tom Jonas) asked during the week about what they’re going to do with Dustin Martin, he said that ‘we’re going to back our structure in as it has worked for us all year’.
“(Not tagging Martin) didn’t work on Friday night because he had seven possessions in the first five minutes and almost took the game away from Port Adelaide right there.
“Why don’t you set someone to him? I’ve seen (GWS Giants tagger) Matt De Boer do it, he’s not untaggable. No one wants to put the time and preparation in and take responsibility.
“It’s not easy to sacrifice your game and play on a great player, it takes a lot of preparation physically and mentally, yes he’ll play some games where he goes forward and change it up but no one set themselves for Dustin Martin last night.
“To look up and see Darcy Byrne-Jones in a one versus one (contest) inside 50, is that the match up you want? You’ve had two weeks to prepare for that matchup – Byrne-Jones who weighs 77 kilograms against Martin, who is the best finals players I’ve ever seen.
“You get what you deserve because they didn’t put any time into Dustin Martin.”
Richmond has now qualified for their third Grand Final in four years and now await the winner of Saturday night’s blockbuster prelim between Brisbane and Geelong.