Damien Hardwick has predicted Toby Greene’s one-match suspension will be upheld by the AFL tribunal, but the triple-premiership coach says he wouldn’t ban the GWS captain.

Greene will front the tribunal on Tuesday night to challenge his rough conduct charge, with teammate Jesse Hogan also set to contest a striking ban.

Both star forwards are in danger of missing the Giants’ difficult assignment against the Brisbane Lions in Canberra on Anzac Day.

All-Australian captain Greene, who has a long history of indiscretions, faces his first suspension in more than two years over his mid-air bump on Carlton defender Jordan Boyd.

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Greene led at the ball and jumped for a mark but turned his body just before a collision and made contact with the head of Boyd, who was going back with the flight of the ball.

Boyd got up immediately to take a free kick and played out the match.

Greene’s actions were graded as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

“It’s a challenge. I think under the letter of the law at the moment he’s probably in trouble,” Hardwick said on Fox Footy on Monday night.

“But I’m of the opinion that at the end of the day Toby jumps and tried to contest and then tried to protect (himself).

“If it’s me personally, I’m probably letting him off, but the reality is I think the AFL tribunal will probably give him a week.”

Toby Greene and Jordan Boyd collide.

Toby Greene and Jordan Boyd collide. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Craig McRae said the Greene-Boyd collision highlighted a “delicate balance” for players and coaches.

He also underlined the importance of the AFL protecting players’ heads, noting Magpies defender Nathan Murphy announced his retirement this month because of concussion.

“You want your players to attack the footy hard and then there’s consequences,” Pies premiership mentor McRae said on Fox Footy.

“He (Greene) is going to have to attack the footy but then there’s consequences, isn’t there?

“There’s always going to be grey (areas) in our game and we’ve got to live with it.

“I’ll leave it up to others to dissect it within an inch of its life but I’ll say that I’m a massive advocate for protecting the head in the game.”

Melbourne captain Max Gawn said the Greene-Boyd collision divided opinion amongst his Demons teammates.

“This is the new sling tackle for 2024, going for a mark and getting someone,” Gawn said on Triple M.

“It seems to be that every year there’s a new tribunal decision where you go, ‘Wow, that’s out of the game now.’

“It feels like it’s now going for a mark and defending yourself. When I watched it, I thought, ‘Yeah, he’s suspended’. But it split the change room.”

Hogan’s left-handed blow to Blues defender Young’s head during an off-the-ball scuffle in the goal square was graded intentional conduct, low impact and high contact.

Gawn joked that his former Melbourne teammate Hogan will get off his striking charge because he’s “a great bloke”, but added Greene would be “pushing uphill” to do the same because of his long tribunal rap sheet.

The light-hearted comments poked fun at Brisbane goal-sneak Charlie Cameron being able to escape his one-match suspension last week under “exceptional and compelling circumstances”, owing to a clean record.

West Coast could seek to use the same “exemplary character” clause to free Tom Barrass of his one-match ban after the defender was charged with rough conduct over a dangerous tackle on Fremantle’s Michael Walters.

Part of Brisbane’s defence was that Cameron has played more than 200 games without suspension, while Barrass has played 138 since his debut in 2015.

“You’d have to ask the people that are defending Tom but all I know he’s a pretty good fella,” Eagles assistant coach Jarrad Schofield said.

No skinfold tests for draftees

AFL clubs will reportedly no longer be able to conduct skinfold tests on players they may draft due to concerns about the results impacting the mental health of the draftees.

A memo has been sent to clubs to inform them of the changes for players they are considering for the next Draft and the Talented Pathways program, according to a report on Footy Classified.

“Body Composition assessments (excluding height and weight) will not be conducted in any Talent Pathways programs or on any athletes that are eligible to compete in the Pathways programs,” the memo from Dr Kate Hall and Grant Williams read.

“Body weights will only be measured by qualified High Performance/Sport Scientists, Sports Dietitians, or Medical Practitioners, in a safe and private setting. All data collected must be kept private.”

Bombers legend Matthew Lloyd was gobsmacked by the plan, saying skinfold testing was a necessary way to determine a player’s fitness and was in no way “fat-shaming”.

“I think the world’s gone mad,” he said. “I’ve never known a player in my time that didn’t take it for what it was.

“You get your skinfolds done and you go, ‘you know what, I’m at the level, I’m above the level’.”

He added that when he was above his target level on one occasion during his career, it was a massive wake-up call to himself.

“I reckon you’ll struggle with the game anyway if you can’t cope with that,” Lloyd said.

Kane Cornes was also bemused by the end of skinfold testing.

“You have to wonder whether that prepares them the best possible way for the challenges that they are going to face once they get into the system,” the Port Adelaide stalwart said.

Oliver cleared for Tigers tussle

Melbourne star Clayton Oliver has been cleared to face Richmond in round seven while Hawthorn utility Changkuoth Jiath’s AFL return is on hold after another soft-tissue injury.

Oliver underwent minor surgery on his troublesome finger this month while the Demons enjoyed an extended 13-day break during their early season bye round.

The prolific on-baller successfully returned to main training this week and will play against the Tigers at the MCG on Wednesday night.

“Clayton got the all-clear to sweat and integrate into training at the end of last week,” Melbourne high-performance boss Selwyn Griffith said on Monday.

“He trained really well and is available for selection for this week against Richmond.”

Defender Marty Hore (fractured thumb) is also available to return for Melbourne, while off-season recruit Shane McAdam will make his comeback through the VFL.

Former Adelaide forward McAdam is yet to play for the Demons after a delayed start to the season with a hamstring injury.

“Shane has done a power of work over the last couple of weeks,” Griffith said.

Clayton Oliver of the Demons is tackled by Brodie Smith of the Crows

Clayton Oliver. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“He’s integrated into the main group, and we’re excited to see him play with the VFL this week.”

Richmond expect to be bolstered by the return of gun midfielder Jacob Hopper (knee) and defender Dylan Grimes (wrist) for the ninth edition of the marquee ‘Anzac Day Eve’ clash against the Demons.

Hawthorn speedster Jiath had been set to resume in the VFL on Saturday after recovering from the hamstring injury that hobbled him in February.

But after a solid week of training, he was a late withdrawal with a quad strain.

The 24-year-old has played 45 games since his 2019 debut, never managing more than 16 in a season.

The speedy wingman and halfback only played eight times last year because of calf and achilles problems.

He spent time at a sports medicine facility in Qatar during the off-season as the Hawks tried to rid him of his persistent soft-tissue injuries.

with AAP





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