Brett Kirk and Toby Greene were at the centre of awkward scenes on Saturday after GWS scored an incredible last-gasp win over the Sydney Swans. Greene snapped a last-minute goal to snatch a one-point victory for the Giants over their cross-town AFL rivals in a high-scoring thriller at the SCG.
The GWS captain reacted the quickest when the ball fell free after a throw-in deep in the forward pocket. He then showed his composure to get the ball to his boot to score the goal that sealed the 17.5 (107) to 16.10 (106) comeback win.
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The Giants trailed by as much as 24 points in the final term, but scored the last four goals of the match to snatch victory. Greene proved the hero for GWS, kicking the first of and last of those four goals. He was rightfully awarded the Brett Kirk medal as best on ground and was presented with the award by the man himself.
However it made for some very awkward scenes due to the fact that Kirk is an assistant coach at the Swans. The former Swans captain couldn't hide his disappointment about the loss and didn't offer much love for Greene when presenting him the medal.
Greene also took the medal off straight after receiving it, although many suggested he didn't want the individual accolade to take the spotlight off the team performance. Journalist Andrew Wu tweeted: “Brett Kirk (as a Swans assistant coach) didn’t give Toby Greene much as he presented the Brett Kirk Medal to him. Greene took the medal off pretty much straight away. Love the pettiness of it all.”
Some social media users also took exception to the fact that a large number of Swans fans booed Greene after he was named the winner of the medal. Booing has been in the spotlight recently due to the ugly treatment of Port Adelaide teenager Jason Horne-Francis.
And I assume there will be outrage over Swans supporters booing Greene as he was accepting the medal. Or is he fair game?
— Blokesman (@TheBlokesman) April 29, 2023
It looked to me like Greene went in for a hug and Kirke wasn’t going for it. Also people were booing. Poor form from Swans supporters. Not petty of Greene at all.
— Marlo Perry (@MarloPerry) April 29, 2023
You're talking about the lack of class of Swans fans booing Toby Greene when he accepted his best on ground award right?
— Bard (@Bard35766146) April 29, 2023
— M Ed (@medwards87) April 29, 2023
By the way Kirk acted towards Greene they should change it to Brett Grumpy Kirk.🤣
— georgios 🍻 (@59_georgios) April 29, 2023
Definitely wasn’t engaging Greene with his his mind and his heart
— Oliver Caffrey (@ollycaffrey) April 29, 2023
Great amount of pettiness
— Jake Benoiton (@JakeBenoiton) April 29, 2023
Toby Greene leads GWS to comeback win over Swans
Greene finished with four goals and had just as much impact further afield, gathering 22 disposals. "His ability to win the ball in contest is elite," Giants coach Adam Kingsley said.
"When you go through all the elite players in the league, they all win contest. His ability to do that, in critical moments also, is as good as anyone."
Luke Parker looked set to inspire Sydney to their own comeback victory and was crucial early when the misfiring Swans battled to stay with the Giants through the first half. The Swans co-captain gathered 33 disposals and booted an important goal in the last quarter, but lacked support around the stoppages to stem the flow of GWS goals.
"He was outstanding," Swans coach John Longmire said. "I thought our leaders were really good, they had a good crack right across the board and he was one of them."
Lance Franklin took a while to warm into the match but got off the leash with three goals either side of the main break. Giants defender Jack Buckley had the better of their clash early on, but Franklin started to turn the tide as the match wore on.
Stephen Coniglio had 28 disposals and two goals for GWS, while Harry Perryman had 21 and three. Xavier O'Halloran (15 and two) and Finn Callaghan (26 dispossals) were also influential in promising signs for the future of the Giants.
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