OPINION

Suspension is likely for Giant Toby Greene

Greater Western Sydney will be shattered if Toby Greene is not there to play the Cats on Friday. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Greater Western Sydney will be shattered if Toby Greene is not there to play the Cats on Friday. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Greater Western Sydney cannot win this Friday's second semi-final against Geelong without Toby Greene - and it appears likely the star forward will be on the sidelines.

It will be a great shame if Greene is not there to face the Cats.

The game needs the best players performing in finals and he is in the top echelon with his sublime skills and inspirational acts.

The Giant will front the AFL Tribunal on a charge of intentional contact against field umpire Matt Stevic during his side's thrilling elimination final win against Sydney.

The charge was referred directly to the tribunal under the guidelines on the basis that the contact was aggressive, forceful, demonstrative or disrespectful and it is hard to see Greene avoiding another suspension.

The dual All-Australian is a brilliant competitor who thrives in the finals cauldron. Fittingly, he had the ball when the final siren sounded in Launceston after another superb display.

But like many great players, Greene lives on the edge. This will be his 22nd tribunal charge in 176 games and his third this season.

While Greene is likely to miss, former teammate Jeremy Cameron will be in Perth to face off against his old club for the first time.

Cameron missed Geelong's only clash against GWS in round 21 at GMHBA Stadium, which the visitors won by 19 points, because of a strained hamstring.

With Cameron being traded to Geelong last year, the Giants have gone with a restructured attack led by Greene.

But it has been their midfield depth and stingy backline that has been most impressive in the second half of the season.

Sam Taylor, Connor Idun, Lachie Ash and rookie Jake Stein have lifted in the absence of injury-prone veteran Phil Davis to complement Nick Haynes and Lachie Whitfield in defence.

After missing the finals last year, coach Leon Cameron was under pressure early in the season when the Giants lost their first three games and were hit hard by injury.

Being forced on the road for the past 10 games, the Giants have been reinvigorated, winning five of their past six and losing only to an in-form Port Adelaide.

Cameron deserves a fair amount of credit for the Giants' late-season resurgence, as well as the way he and the club has managed veteran ruckman Shane Mumford.

Mumford has played only 13 games this season, but his physical presence has been pivotal to numerous victories and he looms as a key player against his former club this Friday.

Though defeated, the Dons have shown progress. Photo: Steve Bell/AFL Photos

Though defeated, the Dons have shown progress. Photo: Steve Bell/AFL Photos

BOMBING OUT IN LAUNCESTON

Essendon's finals drought continued with an awful drubbing against the Western Bulldogs as the rain tumbled down in Launceston's second final.

Searching for their first finals win since 2004, the Bombers started promisingly but paid dearly for wasted opportunities and were not helped by several dubious umpiring decisions as they were overpowered in the second half by the Western Bulldogs.

Despite the loss the Bombers can take solace that they made genuine progress this season under coach Ben Rutten.

Midfielders Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish were All-Australians and ruckman Sam Draper looks to have a most promising future.

Enigmatic midfielder/forward Jake Stringer made the All-Australian 40-man squad, while youngsters Nik Cox, Harrison Jones and Archie Perkins earned Rising Star nominations.

NO OPTION BUT TO SACK TEAGUE

As unpalatable as it was for a good bloke in David Teague, the findings of the external review into Carlton's football department left the Blues with no option but to sack him.

The three-man independent panel found overwhelming evidence that many players were confused about Teague's game plan and there was an unhealthy reliance on offence to the detriment of defence, as reflected by the ease with which the Blues were scored against too many times during his 50-game tenure as senior coach.

Carlton should have clarified the review's timeline from the beginning - that no decisions would be made until its season was over and the board had given itself time to digest the findings.

Although Teague yearned for and deserved more support from within the club, he wanted to remain the coach until the end of round 23 and fulfil all commitments including conducting exit interviews with players.

Those interviews were completed last Wednesday and he was informed of the board's decision later on that day.

That explains why Carlton did not acquiesce to the media narrative and sack him two days earlier.

The hypocrisy shown by many prominent media commentators has been shameful.

The same people calling for Teague's public execution were feeling sorry for his "shabby" treatment at the end. The review was not only about Teague - it involved the football department and others who interact with that group.

Sacking any coach with dignity is never easy, particularly when a former player of the club is involved, and there have been other casualties - John Barker departed mid-year, Brent Stanton at season's end and a third assistant Dale Amos did not have his contract renewed.

There are four new board members, including dual Brownlow medallist Greg Williams, and three long-serving players have retired. CEO Cain Liddle, head of football Brad Lloyd and director of high performance Andrew Russell have not escaped unscathed.

Despite incoming president Luke Sayers' assurance of no further changes, that may depend on the incoming coach's preferences.

Has Howard got it right? Email: howardkotton11@gmail.com; Twitter: @hpkotton59.

This story Suspension is likely for Giant Toby Greene | Howard Kotton first appeared on The Canberra Times.