GWS Giants come to AFL bad boy’s rescue

The GWS Giants have confirmed they will appeal Toby Greene’s one-match ban.

Greene was initially given a two-game spell on the sidelines by the match review officer for an incident that occurred in the first quarter of the clash between GWS and Geelong last Friday night in which his elbow struck the Cats’ Patrick Dangerfield.

The Geelong veteran was left with a bruised larynx and was taken to hospital, where he spent the night before being released on Saturday.

The incident was classed by MRO Michael Christian as careless conduct, high contact and high impact, but after a marathon tribunal hearing on Tuesday night lasting two hours, the impact was downgraded from high to medium.

Toby Greene’s two-game suspension was downgraded to a one-game ban. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The Giants reviewed all elements of Greene’s case on Wednesday morning and alerted the AFL they would be appealing the one-game suspension ahead of a must-win clash against Richmond.

Greene pleaded not guilty to the original charge from the MRO and argued his conduct was not careless as Dangerfield appeared to have slipped before contact was made.

Taking on GWS without one of their star players in Greene would no doubt present a significant advantage for Richmond, but Tigers coach Damian Hardwick was sympathetic to the forward’s plight.

“It’s a challenging one,” Hardwick said.

“It is a football act and I probably tend to agree a little bit with GWS, but if they go based on outcome, unfortunately that’s the nature of the result half the time.

Greene will be a big miss for the Giants ahead of Saturday’s must-win game against Richmond. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“The action itself probably happens 20 times a game, but the fact of the matter is they base their results on the outcome, which is incredibly challenging.

“It’s disappointing because he is a great player that people love to watch and we love to play against, in fairness.

“So the game will be lesser for not having Toby in it.”

The bumper match between GWS and Richmond has added spice to it, as GWS occupy the last spot of the top eight while Richmond trail in 10th but sit just two competition points behind, with Essendon sandwiched in between.

With the Giants and the Tigers enjoying favourable fixtures in their last games of the regular season against Carlton and Hawthorn respectively, there’s extra impetus on Saturday’s game and an even greater need for Greene’s suspension to be overturned.

Greene’s appeal case is expected to be heard on Thursday afternoon.

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