Dahlhaus left the field under the blood rule, but the incident was nothing more than unfortunate, and Greene certainly should not be cited for the play.
For those who haven’t seen the incident, here it is.
— AFL (@AFL) August 11, 2017
Before I begin to break down this play, I will acknowledge that Greene does need to be careful in certain instances, having already missed three games through suspension this season, after separate punching incidents with Caleb Daniel and Alex Rance.
But as much as people may not like it, all that goes out the window when judging what happened in the third quarter on Friday night. This must be seen as an isolated incident.
I’ve seen the vision a number of times now, and each time I watch it, I’m more and more convinced that it was not an intentional act.
Greene doesn’t look at Dahlhaus once throughout the entire contest, although he does know the Bulldog is there.
We’ve seen this manoeuvre used plenty of times in marking contests, to allow for the player going for the ball to brace and protect himself from oncoming defenders.
That’s exactly what Greene is doing here.
Greene has jumped straight up, and placed his leg out to support him, and stop Dahlhaus from laying a tackle (which he would have been able to do, had Greene’s leg not been there).
While that is a legal play in itself, the Giant also doesn’t extend his leg towards Dahlhaus at any stage either, which is one of the main reasons he should escape any sort of sanction.
If Greene kicks out the leg even just a little, it could cause serious damage to Dahlhaus given his boot makes contact with his face, but because Greene just hangs his leg in the air, there’s no additional force made by Greene on Dahlhaus.
Let’s also take into account the player Greene made contact with, as Dahlhaus was one of the smallest players on the ground on Friday.
Had Green made contact with basically any other Dog, the foot would have likely hit his opponent in the upper body, and this would have been a non-issue.
(Better yet, had Caleb Daniel been standing there, Greene’s boot would have likely just gone over the top of him).
Giants coach Leon Cameron summed it up well after his side’s 48-point win.
“I had a look at the incident and look I understand there’s going to be hysteria about Toby but clearly he has his eyes on the ball so what he’s done is he’s protected himself,” Cameron said post-game.
“And I am never, ever, ever going to take away from a player who’s got his eyes on the footy … these unfortunate things happen in footy.
“Obviously the powers that be will look at it, because it is what it is, but they need to judge Toby Greene on his merits.”
It’s an unfortunate incident. That’s all it was.
Fans are allowed to dislike any player of their choosing, but the MRP themselves shouldn’t judge on character.
There’s only one logical decision. Throw the report out.