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“Error of judgment”: Why Watson believes the Tribunal got the Greene decision wrong


Tim Watson believes the AFL Tribunal made the wrong decision in upholding Toby Greene’s suspension on Tuesday night.

The GWS captain was initially hit with a one-match ban for making contact with the head of Carlton’s Jordan Boyd in an aerial contest during Saturday’s clash at Marvel Stadium.

The Giants, who got Jesse Hogan off a one-match ban for striking, opted to challenge the Greene sanction, but the star forward was deemed to have acted unreasonably in bracing for contact rather than attempting to mark the ball.

Essendon champion Watson does not agree with the outcome as he firmly believes Greene was contesting the ball.

“I was surprised that the Tribunal returned the verdict last night that Toby Greene’s one-match ban would stand,” Watson began on SEN Breakfast.

“In fact on the same night that Jesse Hogan’s one-match ban was dismissed and he is free to play, because I saw that as a deliberate act as opposed to an act of somebody competing for the ball and bracing for contact.

“To me, this is an error of judgment by the Tribunal in handing down a penalty to Toby Greene. He was competing for a ball, it dropped, he braced himself - which you’re entitled to do - and you’re always going to have a collision when you find yourself in that situation.

“Particularly when the ball has been directed to you and it’s the other player (Boyd) coming back with the flight of the ball. There’s going to be a collision.

“They say it’s a bump, but it’s just a way of protecting yourself. They’re saying you can’t (do that), I’m saying that action should still be allowable in our game.”

Watson added: “It just makes me angry the decision that was made by the Tribunal because I believe that it was wrong.

“Because if that’s what we accept, then the next time it goes up we’re using that as the benchmark for a collision.”

Co-host and fellow V/AFL great Garry Lyon does not believe a collision such as the Greene-Boyd one will make players think twice about competing in the air.

He does not fear for the state of the game as some other former players have stated during the week while discussing the incident.

“I don’t fear for it (the game),” he said.

“I still think that players are going to be able to contest the ball in a marking contest legitimately.

“If there’s consequential head contact when both players are going for a legitimate mark, then I’m accepting of that. It’s just part of the game.

“That’s my opinion (that Greene was not going for a legitimate mark). I think he made a decision to jump and he made the wrong decision.”

Watson asked: “What was he jumping at?”

Lyon replied: “He was jumping at the footy.”

Watson concluded: “That’s my point.”

As a result of Greene’s suspension, he will miss the Round 7 clash with Brisbane at Manuka Oval on ANZAC Day (Thursday) from 7:35pm AEST.

However, the Giants will have Hogan free to play after beat his charge for striking Blues defender Lewis Young.

Listen to Watson and Lyon discuss the Greene suspension below:

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Greater Western Sydney Carlton

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