MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 5: Nick Daicos of the Magpies and Finn Maginness of the Hawks are seen during the 2023 AFL Round 21 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 5, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Melbourne senior coach Simon Goodwin has blasted Hawthorn tagger Finn Maginness after the midfielder's close-checking job on influential Demon Clayton Oliver, claiming the sticky Hawk "doesn't want the ball".

Maginness, who has been tasked with tagging numerous opposition game-changers throughout the course of the season, including Brownlow medal contender Nick Daicos, was assigned to Melbourne's Oliver by Hawks coach Sam Mitchell on Sunday.

The Hawthorn midfielder was largely successful in stemming Oliver's influence, limiting the perennial Brownlow candidate to 14 possessions, six tackles, and a goal. Oliver's 154-game streak of 15+ disposals, as well as his 53-match streak of recording five-plus clearances, were both snapped as a result of Maginness' efforts.

However, speaking to the media post-game about Oliver's shadow, Goodwin wasn't impressed by Maginness' approach to Sunday's contest.

"He's (Oliver) dealt with attention for seven years, so it's nothing new for him," Goodwin started on Sunday evening.

"Clearly, Finn Maginness is someone that doesn't want the ball, so that makes it a bit challenging and a bit frustrating, but he's (Oliver) a player where we wanted to put him [somewhere] to maximise the team's benefit and I thought he was outstanding for the team, and that's what we want from those type of guys.

"If they're in those situations (where they're being tagged), how can they help the team? In the end, it was very similar to Trent Rivers at the end of the game; how can we manipulate that to help the team? That's what we'll continue to look at."

Asked about tagging's place in the modern game, Goodwin accepted it's a part of 'the game of footy' despite his frustrations on Sunday.

"Yeah, that's fine (teams tagging), that's the game of footy," Goodwin continued.

"Every team structures up a little bit differently, they've (Hawthorn) been doing it pretty strongly for about six or seven weeks with some high effect in certain areas of the game, so that's just something I'm sure clubs will get better at dealing with."

Ultimately, Maginness' job limitation of Oliver didn't impact the final result, with Goodwin's Demons able to defeat the Hawks and cement a top-four position before Round 24.

"I think it's always good to lock something away, whether it be finals, whether it be a top-four position, but that's just half of where we want to go," said Goodwin.

"We want to be a club that continues to improve and I'm incredibly proud of our footy club in totality because, for three years running now, we've been able to put ourselves in positions to give ourselves a chance (to challenge for a premiership).

"Once again, we've locked away a top-four spot, which is fantastic for our supporters, and obviously big for our footy club, but we're not stopping there. We want more, we're hungry, and we're going to keep looking for ways to get better."

The Demons can finish as high as second place if they defeat the Swans at the SCG and both Port Adelaide and Brisbane lose.

 2023-08-27T05:20:00Z 
Melbourne WON BY 21 POINTS
SCG
SYD   
56
FT
77
   MELB