David Schwarz considers Toby Greene’s report for a high foot on Western Bulldogs midfielder Luke Dahlhaus was purely accidental, and expects the GWS forward to not miss any games for the incident.
Greene’s actions on Friday night at Etihad Stadium have divided the footy world, with a largely equal split on whether the constantly-suspended Giant raised his leg deliberately to the face of Dahlhaus, and therefore should see more time on the sidelines, or whether the contact was accidental.
Schwarz sides with the latter opinion, considering the action to be a natural motion due to Greene’s eyes solely being focused on the ball at the time.
“Tony Lockett used to do it regularly, where he’d use the big size 13 almost as a balancing thing,” the former Melbourne forward told SEN’s Crunch Time.
“I don’t think it is (careless). It’s a part of footy. I think it’s an accident.
“I think that accidentally he got him in the face. If he got him in the leg or the hip, it’s no problem. He’s not looking at the player when he does it.”
Former Bomber Scott Lucas agreed with Schwarz, believing Greene to have raised the foot to try protect the space that he is afforded after a mark.
“I think he’s entitled to protect himself. He’s entitled to protect his space,” he said.
“With the greatest respect, Dahlhaus is not a big man… (Greene’s) allowed to protect himself and got for the ball.
“He has no case to answer. He has his eyes on the ball.
“If you go for a mark in a pack, you jump up, you put your knees in someone’s head and it knocks them out, that’s just part of a contest. The unfortunate outcome was that he was taken high. He ran off the ground, wiped his face and came back on the ground.
“Whenever anyone says that you can’t go down the street and do this, well you also can’t run down the street and dump them into the ground as well.”
Despite branding the incident as careless, dangerous and “not a great look for the game”, Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson also believes that Greene won’t be suspended for the incident, believing he is being treated unfairly due to his past history with the Match Review Panel.
“I think there is a little bit of a demonisation of Toby Greene…a witch hunt,” he said.
“Toby Greene does this often when you look at his marking contests. He is a very smart footballer.”
Robinson also hopes the incident is a catalyst for the AFL to issue MRP results across the weekend, rather than waiting until Monday to announce their findings.
“I hope in the future that will happen. The AFL have got to do something about this,” the journalist said.
“It’s not the first time this year that we have had a big incident on the Friday night and we have to wait until the Monday. It should be decided today, announced and we all move on.”
Heath Shaw also defended his teammate’s actions, and says that the vocal booing directed towards Greene throughout the game is symbolic of just how good a player he is.
“He’s going for the ball. His eyes are on the ball. His foot is out and it hits him in the face,” the Giants defender said.
“These things happen in footy. I think Toby will be fine…he should be sweet.
“Usually you’re a good player from an opposition team when you’re getting booed. That’s exactly what Toby is, a very good player.
“A lot of people don’t like the way he goes about things, but we love him… he’s an integral part of our team and our footy club. He kicked a big goal straight after that incident and he played a great game.”