Giants forward Toby Greene (third from left) will miss two weeks for hitting Richmond's Alex Rance.
Giants forward Toby Greene (third from left) will miss two weeks for hitting Richmond's Alex Rance. JULIAN SMITH

Giants give Toby green light to play his game

AUSSIE RULES: GWS defender Heath Shaw says he'll arm his fiery teammate Toby Greene with some advice on how to curb his anger.

Greene's long rap sheet extended this week, with the All-Australian handed a two-match ban by the AFL's match review panel for striking Richmond's Alex Rance.

The suspension comes at a critical time for the injury-plagued and out-of-form Giants, who haven't won a match in six weeks.

While Shaw conceded it was somewhat hypocritical to offer advice, he suggested there were lessons Greene could learn from his past indiscretions.

"Speaking from experience, it took me a while to learn from my mistakes,” Shaw said on SEN.

"It is hard for someone like me to tell Toby 'you need to think straight in the heat of the moment'.

"For me, that's the biggest battle I've had in my career. I just want to win at all costs and sometimes I do lose control. The older I've got, the better I've got, but there are times I tip over.

"I'll give Toby a little bit of advice about how I've tried to manage that, but you don't want to take that edge away from him.

"When he is in the zone, he is one of the hardest players to play against in the AFL.”

Toby Greene has been among the Giants best this season.
Toby Greene has been among the Giants best this season. BRENDAN ESPOSITO

Greene has worked with a sports psychologist this year to help cool his demeanour, with the small forward saying he'd never forgive himself if he were to miss a final through suspension.

He was suspended for two matches earlier in the season for striking Western Bulldogs player Caleb Daniel, and was also cited for headbutting in a separate incident.

In total, Greene has been cited 12 times, which is the equal seventh most on record - and this is despite playing just 111 matches.

Co-captain Phil Davis told Fox Footy's On The Couch he wanted Greene to continue playing his natural game, fearing Greene would otherwise "play within his shell”.

Shaw also encouraged Greene to play to the edge.

Giants defender Heath Shaw at training in Sydney.
Giants defender Heath Shaw at training in Sydney. PAUL MILLER

"The way Toby is, the way he goes about things and the person he is, we don't want to change a thing,” Shaw said.

"Toby is really disappointed and I think the main thing is he loves playing footy. He is a competitive beast and on the back of our performance, and his performance, against Richmond on the weekend, and losing that game, the one thing you can do is look forward to next week to rectify it.

"He has put himself in a position where he has two more weeks to think about it.

"You can do as much training during the week as possible but performance on the weekend is what counts. Toby can't do that this weekend, so he is really disappointed not to be out there.”


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