AFL world left in disbelief after Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan learn fates at tribunal

Several AFL greats have questioned the controversial rulings.

The AFL tribunal has come under fire across the footy world after contentious rulings on GWS stars Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan on Tuesday night. Greene was suspended for the eighth time in his career after failing to appeal a one-game ban for a bump on Carlton's Jordan Boyd, while Hogan is free to play the ANZAC Day match against Brisbane in Canberra after having his one-game suspension for striking dismissed.

Both rulings left many former AFL players and fans angry, with many suggesting that Hogan should have been the one that was banned instead of Greene. The tribunal upheld the rough conduct charge on Greene after the incident with Boyd when the GWS star jumped for a mark but turned his body just before a collision and made contact with the head of the Blues player.

Pictured left to right, GWS stars Jesse Hogan and Toby Greene in the AFL.
GWS stars Jesse Hogan and Toby Greene had mixed fortunes at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night. Pic: Getty

Greene’s actions were graded as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, with the GWS star insisting he only had eyes for the ball and braced for contact at the last moment when he realised he wasn't going to get to it first. "Prior to impact Greene had abandoned his attempt to mark the ball and turn his body to brace for impact," tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said. "Noting again that Greene admitted this was a high bump."

The GWS star's legal representative, Anais d'Arville, claimed Greene's actions were not unreasonable in the circumstances. "The whole time I thought I was a good chance to take the mark," Greene said. "At the last moment I realised he was going to touch the ball before me, then I braced for impact."

AFL greats such as Tim Watson, Joel Selwood and Nick Riewoldt all criticised the charge against Greene and questioned what else he was supposed to do in the situation. “I don’t believe that you deserve a penalty for that," Watson said on Channel 7’s Talking Footy. Selwood agreed saying: “I don’t think it was unreasonable what Toby did in this circumstance". Riewoldt said before Tuesday night's tribunal hearing that it was "a shame for our game" that common footy actions like Greene's were resulting in suspensions.

While Greene will miss the Anzac Day match against the Lions, his GWS teammate Hogan is free to play despite striking Carlton defender Lewis Young in the face, during an off-the-ball incident. The strike was graded as intentional conduct, low impact and high contact but his one-match ban was dismissed after the tribunal deemed the contact with Young was "negligible".


"Hogan gave impressively candid evidence, including acknowledging he did swing with force to try and push Young," tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson said. "We are not clearly satisfied there was anything more than negligible." But veteran AFL reporter Mark Robinson slammed that decision and was among those questioning how Hogan escaped suspension.

Seen here, GWS star Jesse Hogan in the AFL.
GWS star Jesse Hogan is free to play the Lions on ANZAC Day after being cleared at the AFL tribunal. Pic: Getty

“I can’t comprehend that, I really can’t. If he’s not going to get suspended, he should get a fine,” Robinson said on AFL 360. “When can you throw a jab at a player and connect with him and they say: ‘Nah, you didn’t hit him too hard.’

“C’mon AFL, C’mon tribunal! I think the tribunal this year has really let footy down and I don’t say that flippantly. I’m staggered by that decision. If you’re going to throw (a fist) with that force and it’s just clipped him, well fine him for the action."

GWS football boss Jason McCartney said while they were happy with the Hogan ruling, the club was disappointed Greene did not avoid suspension. "We're pleased with the outcome of the tribunal with respect to Jesse's case where the charge of striking was dismissed due to the negligible nature of the incident," he said.

"We're naturally disappointed Toby's rough conduct charge was upheld, while acknowledging the necessary focus on protecting players from head high contact wherever possible. We took the charge further given our belief that this was a genuine marking contest which routinely happens within our game."

with AAP