Stevo's Sting: Why GWS should have challenged

Mark Stevens

GWS's decision to accept Toby Greene's two-match ban and avoid a risky challenge was as predictable as the stern rebuttal of the latest Nat Fyfe to St Kilda rumour.

What else could those close to Fyfe and the Saints say? It was probably rubbish, it might be true, but the denials were always coming in round six of a live season.

Challenging charge at the tribunal has gone out of fashion, clubs just don't do it any more. If you're a tribunal member, paid per appearance, you're looking for a new part-time job.

Footy clubs have a herd mentality and tend to follow trends. Nobody is prepared to roll the dice and challenge an MRP decision at the tribunal because of the perception that you never win.

It was refreshing to see Giants coach Leon Cameron on Monday night at least say the club was seriously considering a challenge on Greene.

Twitter: @Stevo7AFL

Some sniggered. But here's a message for Leon and GWS: you should've followed through.

Sometimes the MRP ticks the boxes and it is impossible to argue.

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This time, there was room to move. The Giants should have argued that the MRP ticked the wrong box.

Greene's action was poor. He deserved to be suspended. But GWS could have argued the suspension offered should have been two weeks down to one, not three to two.

Given his history and other previous cases, Greene's conduct could have easily been classed as careless rather than intentional.

Intentional conduct has invariably been reserved for the obvious bad ones, like Jordan Lewis's brain fade off the ball recently.

Zak Jones flew off the ground and cannoned into Travis Cloke. That was deemed careless.

Travis Varcoe pinged in off the square and crunched Luke Dahlhaus. That was careless, too, according to the MRP.

Both, you could argue, were intentional.

Greene might've been intentional too, but you could strongly argue Greene was no more than careless given the past and potential deliberations of split-second decisions in play.

The ball was there, he'd already had one attempt at spoiling, and the Giants could argue he was trying to hit the ball again and missed.

Greene wasn't going toe-to-toe with Caleb Daniel and didn't deliver a blow way off the ball.

It was silly, careless, undisciplined and uncalled for.

But given the term intentional is so rare and other players have been fortunate enough to get lumped with the careless tag, Greene was stiff.

GWS could have challenged international versus careless and saved Greene a week.

It was winnable.