‘I thought it was embarrassing’: AFL great unloads on Pies’ warm treatment of exiled star

St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt says he “cringed” when he saw Adam Treloar embraced by a Collingwood player pre-game, labelling it a “missed opportunity” to get an edge in the contest.

The build up to Friday night’s match centred squarely on Treloar coming face-to-face with his old side for the first time since a messy trade period split that the 28-year-old spoke openly about on AFL 360 in the days leading up to the battle.

Lining up on the wing, Treloar was embraced by ex-teammate Tyler Brown seconds before the opening bounce and his first touch saw him brilliantly set up a goal for Aaron Naughton.

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Speaking during On The Couch, Riewoldt took issue with the lack of on-field aggression shown by Pies players towards the former star.

“I cringed when I saw that. When I saw Adam Treloar walk out to his position I was fixated on him because I wanted to see what the Collingwood players did,” he said.

“Listening to Adam during the week there was high anxiety, a high level of nerves and he was desperate to get it over with. He would’ve been wondering within himself ‘are they going to come for me?’

Adam Treloar runs past Magpies players after the Bulldogs won the round one AFL match. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“When a player comes up straight away and gives you a high-five, a big smile and a hug – give me a spell. I thought it was embarrassing.”

Former Melbourne spearhead Garry Lyon offered a different view on why the treatment of Treloar was so warm, including after the match, contending that this was the sign of a Pies playing group that was taking ownership of itself.

“This is my take on it, I might be off the mark. This is a footy club whose players distanced themselves from their administration over the ‘Do Better’ report … they put the letter out and stood on their own,” he said.

“I got the sense that this was almost like ‘Hey, we don’t like this decision either’. I’m not saying they would’ve gone easy on him but they weren’t prepared to go to the next degree which is to be nasty and filthy.

“It looked like they’re saying to their coaches as Nathan Buckley looks down ‘you made the decision, we don’t agree with it, we’ll handle this in our own way.’”

Originally published asRiewoldt blasts ‘cringe-worthy’ Collingwood

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