Mason Cox during the match between GWS and Collingwood in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL has issued Collingwood ruckman Mason Cox with a 'please explain' for making contact with an opposition coach and running through a Greater Western Sydney drill before Saturday night's defeat at Engie Stadium.

Cox drew headlines after he interrupted a Giants midfield drill in the moments before the match started, tangling with their ruck coach Shane Mumford as the opposition side attempted to practice their centre bounce routine.

Cox also appeared to collide with Giants midfielder Josh Kelly as part of the incident.


It's now understood that the League has issued the Magpies and Cox a 'please explain' for the incident, despite neither the Giants nor their ruck coach flagging the issue with the AFL on Saturday night.

Cox had contributed to the pre-game buzz around the game, labelling the Giants' home ground Engie Stadium as "a showground for livestock" when the Opening Round clash was announced back in November last year.

Giants chief executive Dave Matthews hit back at the comment, calling it "D-grade comedy" with the club poking further fun at the American ruckman by setting up a 'Mason Cox Petting Zoo' outside the ground before its season opener.

The 'Mason Cox Petting Zoo' at Engie Stadium ahead of Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Cox struggled on the field on Saturday night, failing to record a single disposal in the first half and finishing Collingwood's 32-point defeat with only five touches and one mark.

Giants forward Brent Daniels later labelled Cox's pre-game antics "really bizarre", saying "it wasn't a good look" and "if you're going to do that, you'd want to back it up on the field".

"Mason likes to say things that get a bit of a headline," Daniels said while speaking on Channel Nine on Sunday morning.

"He likes the limelight, but what he did before the game I thought was really bizarre. A bit of carry on."

In a post on Instagram, Cox said there was a lot of 'false commentary' about the incident and he would address it further later this week.

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes said Cox "embarrassed himself" for producing such a poor performance having dominated the pre-game build-up.

"If you're going to talk a big game and act like a clown, we don't mind it - provided you play well. But he didn't touch the footy for the first half of the game. He was a liability," Cornes said on The Round So Far.


"So if ... you're going to do that, you'd want to play better than you did tonight. I think he's a bit of a laughing stock.

"He'll look back and say, 'I've got a premiership medal'. But I think he embarrassed himself in the lead-up to this game and with his performance on the night."

Tensions between the two clubs were amplified last September after Collingwood beat the Giants by a solitary point in a preliminary final on their way to achieving premiership success.