Johnson backs Greene for his AFL instincts

GWS teammate Steve Johnson says Toby Greene (right) has the right to protect himself in a contest.

GWS teammate Steve Johnson says Toby Greene (right) has the right to protect himself in a contest.

Veteran Steve Johnson is the latest GWS teammate to back Toby Greene, saying AFL players have every right to protect themselves when going for the ball.

Johnson also noted the rough conduct charge during the Friday night win over the Western Bulldogs was not another chapter in Greene's woeful match review panel record.

While Greene's kick to the face of Bulldogs star Luke Dahlhaus has polarised opinion, what is not in doubt is that the young Giants is at the mercy of the MRP again with two games left until the finals.

If the MRP rule against Greene, his bad record most likely will mean a two-week ban.

The panel will hand down its findings on Monday afternoon.

Greene stuck his leg out as he took a handball on Friday night and his foot collected Dahlhaus in the face, forcing the Bulldog from the field with a cut lip.

"Sometimes incidents happen, but the player going for the ball certainly is allowed to do anything to protect the space where the ball is falling,"' Johnson told Channel Seven's Game Day.

Already this season, Greene has served a two-game ban for striking Bulldogs midfielder Caleb Daniel and Friday was his first game back from another two-match suspension for striking Richmond star Alex Rance.

Bulldogs fans booed Greene throughout Friday night's match and the AFL is investigating a post-game incident where a fan allegedly threw a cup of alochol on Greene as the Giants were walking down their race.

So far, no clear footage has emerged of who tipped the cup on Greene.

"Certainly earlier this year, there were some incidents that he just needed to take out of his game," Johnson said.

"At times he was frustrated and they are little things that he wants to stamp out of his game and we can't afford for him to do.

"But ones where it's in play and he's playing on instinct and it's not necessarily him doing the wrong thing, it's just in the play - the incident on the weekend - it's very hard to coach someone out of playing on instincts."

The MRP will also look at Ben Howlett's sling tackle on Adelaide defender Luke Brown, but the Essendon onballer is unlikely face any sanction.

After Patrick Dangerfield and Brodie Grundy were suspended for their tackles in the last fortnight, Howlett gave away a free kick in Saturday night's loss.

Unlike the Dangerfield and Grundy tackles, Brown was not concussed.

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