Brad Scott lashes AFL's call on Toby Greene after brutal Peter Wright development

Scott says the AFL's call on Toby Greene has exposed an issue that needs addressing.

Essendon coach Brad Scott says the one-game ban handed to GWS star Toby Greene has exposed an issue that needs addressing in the AFL. The Giants will challenge the suspension handed to Greene and GWS teammate Jesse Hogan (striking) at the AFL Tribunal, with Greene's rough conduct incident similar to one that saw Bombers star Peter Wright cop a four-week suspension earlier in the season.

Greene collided with Jordan Boyd during a marking contest in the Giants' 19-point loss to Carlton on Saturday night, in scenes reminiscent of Wright's collision with Swans star Harry Cunningham. Wright was slapped with a four-game suspension at the AFL Tribunal in a contentious ruling last month. While many agreed with the call, North Melbourne great Wayne Carey was among those livid with the ban and threatened to stop watching the sport in protest.

Pictured left to right is Essendon coach Brad Scott and GWS star Toby Greene.
Essendon coach Brad Scott has compared the Toby Greene incident with one from his Bombers star Peter Wright that resulted in a four-week ban. Pic: Getty

Wright is back for the Bombers this week after being banned for four weeks for his mid-air bump - considered careless conduct, severe impact and high contact - that knocked out Sydney's Cunningham. But in the most recent case involving Greene, the incident was only deemed worthy of a one-game ban after he jumped in the air and made contact with his shoulder directly to Boyd's head. Greene didn't appear to know where the ball was, and braced for impact when he collected Boyd in the face.

While the actions of the two incidents were similar, the outcomes were very different. In Wright's case, the collision left Swans star Cunningham unconscious, whereas Boyd got up immediately to take a free kick and played out the remainder of match after the hit from Greene.

That's led to backlash from Essendon's coach, following post-match comments from his GWS counterpart Adam Kingsley, who downplayed the Greene incident in his post-match press conference. "There won't be anything in that," Kingsley told reporters. "He's allowed to contest the ball, isn't he? He's allowed to launch at the ball?"

Brad Scott compares Toby Greene and Peter Wright bumps

Scott said it was clear that even though the Greene and Wright incidents were similar, the AFL punished his player more severely because Cunningham was knocked out. "I couldn't help but notice Adam Kingsley's comment - you're allowed to look at the ball and launch the ball and try and mark the ball, and Pete's just nodding his head saying, 'Yes, I agree with that'," Scott said on Monday.

Essendon's Peter Wright caught Swans star Harry Cunningham in the face in an incident that divided AFL fans. Pic: Getty
Essendon's Peter Wright caught Swans star Harry Cunningham in the face in an incident that divided AFL fans. Pic: Getty

"Clearly the AFL ... determine a penalty based on outcome, not on action. That's abundantly clear now to everyone." Scott says the AFL's greater emphasis on protecting players from head injuries means the onus has now shifted to clubs having the prove the innocence of their players at the Tribunal, and that there is a presumption of guilt in any concussion-related incidents.

"... (The media) can find so many examples where there are collisions with players with their eyes on the ball. "But if one player gets concussed, the AFL holds someone liable for it in almost all cases now," the Bombers coach added.

"Then it's basically put back to the club to challenge it if they disagree, and the system's not set up for that. You don't go to the Tribunal with an 'innocent till proven guilty', you go to the tribunal with 'you're guilty and you have to prove your innocence'."

GWS also set to challenge Jesse Hogan ban at Tribunal

As well as Greene's rough conduct ban, GWS will also appeal challenge the one-week suspension for Hogan after his left-handed blow to the head of Blues defender Lewis Young. That came during an off-the-ball scuffle in the goal square and was graded intentional conduct, low impact and high contact for the current Coleman Medal leader - who's booted 21 goals in six games.


The hearings come a week after Lions forward Charlie Cameron escaped a one-match suspension due to "exceptional and compelling circumstances" owing to his clean record across 207 games. West Coast will challenge the one-match rough conduct ban handed to key defender Tom Barrass, who was cited for a dangerous tackle on Fremantle's Michael Walters.

with AAP