24 Jan 2019

History behind angry Rudan-Corica faceoff

7:26 am on 24 January 2019

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan has accused Sydney FC counterpart Steve Corica of lacking respect after the pair engaged in a blazing exchange following their tense A-League clash in Wellington.

Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan during the game between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC

Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan during the game between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC Photo: © Copyright Photosport Ltd 2019 www.photosport.nz

In a fiery aftermath to Sydney's 1-0 win on Wednesday, former Sydney FC team- mates Rudan and Corica shook hands before their conversation descended into a face-to-face shouting match.

The pair were eventually separated but Rudan was pulling no punches when quizzed on the topic later, revealing he left Sydney with a bitter taste when the teams met in round seven.

The Phoenix won that match 3-1 in a boilover but Rudan didn't appreciate Corica's post-match comments, when he accused Wellington of deliberately slowing play in cynical fashion to protect a lead.

"There needs to be a level of respect. When we beat them, I thought we beat them fairly and squarely over there," Rudan said.

"I didn't appreciate the remark that he gave me afterwards ... I just reminded him that it was no different to what they were doing in the second half (on Wednesday).

"They were trying to slow play down and taking their time. They beat us, no dramas, but I reminded him of those words."

Rudan has been no shrinking violet in his first season in charge of the rejuvenated Phoenix, not afraid to trade barbs with coaches and fourth officials from his prominent sideline perch during games.

Corica was reluctant to delve into what he said to Rudan but played down the significance of the showdown with a man he shared the field with for two seasons at the Sky Blues in the mid-2000s.

The pair were key figures when Sydney FC won the inaugural A-League crown.

"I played with Rudes at Sydney. We're two winners, we want to win and that's all it was," Corica said.

"We shook hands after the game and we just had a few words."