GWS not seeing red over Greene brain fade | Ralph Lauren

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GWS veteran Phil Davis has defended Toby Greene after the stand-in skipper’s latest brain fade resulted in a fine, arguing the AFL star has refined his combative approach in recent years.

Greene was docked $2000 by the league for striking Nic Newman in the Giants’ win over Carlton on Saturday night, which lifted them to ninth spot on the ladder.

The small forward has accrued match-review fines of almost $30,000 during his 169-game career.

Davis noted he and the club don’t condone striking, adding they would love Greene “not to be put in that position because one day it could be more significant (and result in suspension)”.

But the former captain highlighted and praised Greene’s development in managing white-line fever and the competitive streak that teammates admire so much.

“Sometimes we all think we’re better humans than we are,” Davis told reporters.

“We all think we could just get pushed and shoved and battered, every minute for 120 minutes and not react carelessly at one moment.

“The Toby of old may have done something differently … he’s been really able to control those urges.

“Unfortunately for a split second he made a mistake. He plays right on the line, he’s frustrated, trying to intimidate his opponent.

“Those brain fades are far less and we’d rather he not make it but we understand there’s a little bit in Toby that, every now and then, he makes those mistakes.”

Davis, who returned against the Blues after a two-month stint on the sidelines, heaped praise on Greene’s leadership.

The 30-year-old agreed with Heath Shaw’s assessment that Greene, who has struck career-best form while rallying GWS after their 0-3 start, should captain the All-Australian team.

“Toby is probably one of the first picked in the All-Australian team,” Davis said.

“I’d have him in the top three players in the league … Marcus Bontempelli will definitely be in that conversation (to captain).

“But Toby would definitely have my vote.

“I love how Toby plays and will always stand by him … he’s one of the most loyal and compassionate teammates that I’ve played with.

“You naturally get drawn to him because of the way he plays. He’s so combative, competitive, wants to win at all costs and – on top of that – he keeps on developing his ability to cause change amongst players for the better.”

Davis described injured captain Stephen Coniglio’s behind-the-scenes work during the past two months as “admirable” and “something special”.

Meanwhile, the out-of-contract Davis revealed he is yet to start serious discussions about a new deal at GWS amid a rotten run of injuries.

“Not playing (a lot) since about August last year has been incredibly frustrating,” the defender said.


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