GRUB OR GREAT: GWS Giants star Toby Greene fights for the ball with Bulldogs player Caleb Daniel.
GRUB OR GREAT: GWS Giants star Toby Greene fights for the ball with Bulldogs player Caleb Daniel. LUKAS COCH

Grub or great? The jury is out on Giants star Toby Greene

TOBY Greene, grub or great?

The jury remains out on the GWS Giants' trouble-laden star after the AFL match review panel rubbed him out for another two weeks following Sunday's brain explosion jumper punch against Richmond.

Greene is a match-winner of rare ability but as much as he ought to be a giant headache for opposition teams come the finals, in equal measure he has become a liability for his coach Leon Cameron.

In just 111 matches, Greene has made a name for himself as one of the most cited players in the game and pound-for-pound the AFL's most ill-disciplined figure.

However, AFL great Dermott Brereton - a man no stranger to suspensions himself - has leapt to Greene's defence, passionately declaring the pugnacious All-Australian is not a grub.

"He's not a dirty player. A dirty player is someone who is able to do those nasty little acts in play, while the ball is live, and do it snidely," Brereton said.

"He's not doing it snidely. He's just losing himself for a second or so. He'll stop that and he'll be able to work it out.

"You can address it any way you want. You can give him lots of counselling, you could send him to a yoga class, you could get him to eat mung beans. It eventually just has to be him that sorts it out.

"How soon will that be? I don't know. The Giants would hope in three weeks' time."

GWS are in a hole having not won a match in the past month and they'll now have to dig themselves out without one of their most influential players, after the Giants chose not to challenge the two-match ban offered to Greene.

His bad record contributed to yesterday's sentence and with the Giants now urgently needing to find their groove before finals time, Greene will be skating on the thinnest of ice until the season is done.

 

GWS Giants star Toby Greene attempts a shot at goal during his side's AFL Round 17 match with the Sydney Swans.
GWS Giants star Toby Greene attempts a shot at goal during his side's AFL Round 17 match with the Sydney Swans. DAVID MOIR

In a top 10 worst offenders list, only Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne (16 citings in 146 games) has played less than 150 matches.

The rest are veterans like Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Lance Franklin and Lindsay Thomas.

Greene is equal seventh with 12 citings, but with four reports this year he is building a reputation as one of the AFL's most notorious figures.

Brereton likened Greene to a young Glenn Archer, adamant the 23-year-old can leave his bad boy image behind him and become an AFL great.

"You prefer him out there and you prefer it didn't happen, but I wouldn't be all that worried with him," he said.

"To me it's about the bigger picture and it will eventually stop.

"It just shows to me that he hates even losing at any individual contest. It shows a competitiveness in him that is a rare, rare thing and the do-gooders of the world will turn around and judge him in a dim light.

"I don't see a great deal of difference between him and Glenn Archer when he first started to play.

"The competitiveness turned into an individual moment of raw aggression. Archer sorted it out and turned into a contested footy beast, but a model citizen by halfway through his career. I think Toby has the same capabilities."

GWS will be without Greene for home matches against Fremantle and Melbourne, but the silver lining is fellow stars Jeremy Cameron and Stephen Coniglio are both expected back from injury.

News Corp Australia

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