Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak doesn’t regret sledging Richmond’s Troy Chaplin, but insists there’s no bad blood with his former teammate.
Boak bristled at Chaplin’s overt celebrations when the Tigers beat Port by 20 points in round 17.
At the time, Richmond were finals long-shots and Boak said of his ex-teammate: “I hope he’s enjoying the year that they’re having.”
But the Tigers snuck into the finals with nine consecutive wins and Boak conceded his remarks will attract attention ahead of Sunday’s elimination final at Adelaide Oval.
“I’m sure he’d be pretty happy with his season, the way they’re going,” Boak told reporters on Monday.
“It was just a bit of banter after the game.”
Boak, however, remains let-down by Chaplin, who when leaving Port in 2012 sent an email to players critical of their culture and work ethic.
“At the time it was pretty disappointing,” Boak said of Chaplin’s email.
“But we have both moved on … that is all in the past.”
Port finished fifth and host the eighth-placed Richmond, yet was ordered by the AFL to wear their away strip in the sudden-death final.
Port’s chief executive Keith Thomas challenged the decision and on Monday night the AFL agreed the Power could play in their ‘prison bar’ guernsey with white shorts.
“Collingwood is the club that has the right to wear black and white stripes within the AFL competition,” AFL football operations boss Mark Evans said in a statement.
“They have agreed for Port Adelaide to wear its heritage … guernsey … as a pragmatic resolution to produce the best outcome for this final.”
Port coach Ken Hinkley and Richmond counterpart Damien Hardwick had baulked at buying into the issue.
Hinkley said there was no reason why Port can’t become the first club to win the premiership from outside the top four.
“I’m going to have a go and these blokes (players) are going to have a go with me,” he said.
“It’s going to be a bit of fun trying.
“At some stage, somebody is going to be able to do it. And we’re going to have first crack.”