‘Not acceptable’: Rival star whacks Greene
GWS have confirmed they will appeal the one-match ban doled out to star utility Toby Greene by the AFL Tribunal.
On Tuesday night Greene was ruled out of the side's preliminary final against Collingwood after failing to have his one-match ban for making unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region of Brisbane Lions midfielder Lachie Neale overturned.
Greene pleaded not guilty to the charge and had also looked to get the charge downgraded from intentional to careless.
However just one week after he was hit with and beat a similar charge for contact to the eyes of Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli, where he was slapped with a $7,500 fine the tribunal were not as forgiving.
That was despite a favourable testimony from Brownlow contender Neale, who said he "had a sore nose" on Sunday but did not believe that the contact from Greene was enough to see him leave the field at the time and that he couldn't recall feeling any contact to his eyes.
In his testimony Greene denied that he raked Neale's face or eye region.
He did however say he tried to "snatch the footy" from Neale in the tackle but couldn't, so he pulled his hand back.
The AFL Tribunal panel consisting of David Jones (chairman) and former players David Neitz, Shane Wakelin and Paul Williams ruled on Greene after a marathon hearing.
Greene avoided the media after the verdict and instead left the club's football manager Wayne Campbell to do the talking and he refused to rule out an appeal.
"We need to consider our options further," Campbell said.
Just 45 minutes later the club confirmed they would appeal via Twitter.
The GIANTS will appeal Toby Greene's one-match suspension.— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) September 17, 2019
"The Giants will lodge paperwork to appeal the decision by the deadline of 12pm tomorrow," a statement on their website read.
The decision to suspend Greene split analysts but Richmond star Jack Riewoldt gave Greene a huge whack on AFL 360, when asked by host Mark Robinson if Greene's behaviour in the last fortnight was "acceptable"?
"It's definitely not acceptable. He's been fined last week and suspended this week, you can't do that," Riewoldt said.
"Twice in two weeks, it is something that needs to be looked at.
"He is such a good player that the only people he is hurting are his teammates, who are missing out on arguably the best player in the finals."
While Riewoldt was the leader in condemnation of Greene plenty of others jumped to support the controversial star, with Graham Cornes calling the "Most unjust one game suspension in the history of the game."
This seriously must be the most unjust one game suspension in the history of the game. Yes, he can be a serial pest but surely you have to commit a crime to do the time. One game for a swinging round arm... one game for... who knows what? Who benefits most I wonder? https://t.co/Bbrt047v9m— Graham Cornes (@Cornesy12) September 17, 2019
Others rounded on the tribunal process for it being inconsistent after Greene escaped a ban the week prior for the incident with Bontempelli.
Toby Greene suspended for a questionable “offence” allegedly committed in a game he shouldn’t have been playing because the AFL Tribunal stuffed things up last week.#Constitution#Mabo#Justice#Law#TheVibe— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) September 17, 2019
In the lead up to the hearing the Giants admitted Greene had a long rap sheet but it didn't matter according to board member and former Geelong Cat Jimmy Bartel.
"Obviously we're going to the tribunal to front up and put our case forward," Bartel said on Macquarie Sports Radio on Monday.
"There's no loading or previous record taken into account - as much as Toby Greene's got a rap sheet as long as his arm, it doesn't matter.
"As much as people are still annoyed about last week and thought he should've got weeks, it doesn't matter.
"It doesn't mean he gets a week this week because you thought he should've got a week last week."
The loss of Greene is a huge blow for the Giants as they get set to take on a well-rested Collingwood, who are looking to make back-to-back AFL Grand Finals.
The Giants will also be looking for revenge against the Pies, who knocked them out of last season's finals series.
The news was a double blow to the Giants who also ruled out any chance of gun midfielder Stephen Coniglio returning for the preliminary final on Saturday afternoon.
Coniglio, who had been racing the clock to return from a knee injury sustained late in the season was ruled out by Campbell, but a grand final return remains a possibility if they get that far.
"He'll continue to work really hard and is close to full training. Should we progress beyond this week, it (a return) is certainly something we'll assess again next week," Campbell said.
Lachie Whitfield is expected to face the Magpies despite having a sore back that restricted him against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.
Greene's ban comes on the heels of Geelong forward Tom Hawkins failing to have his ban for striking West Coast defender Will Schofield overturned on Monday night.
The @AFL tribunal have absolutely lost the plot on the Toby Greene case. Farcical. The charge was making unreasonable contact to the eyes of Neale. No video evidence of contact being made and Neale said no contact made and no physical sign of contact made.— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) September 17, 2019