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GWS’ Greene fails to fire in AFL decider


“He did deal with that very well – how that impacted on today, I don’t know.”

But Greene was also the player with the potential to turn the game on its head, with his magical match-winning performance against the Lions an indicator of his big game credentials.

Not this time.

“Toby is disappointed, like everyone,” coach Leon Cameron said after the loss.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s a competitor and things didn’t go to the level he wanted them today.


“But he’s hurting at the moment because he’s the ultimate team player, he wants to be there when the whips are cracking for our footy team.”

Greene’s first touch was a handball in traffic, so quick in an area so congested even the Tigers faithful couldn’t spot him.

But from there, every time the star Giant touched the ball, it was met with a chorus of boos.

The large Richmond contingent didn’t have to preserve their voices too much though – Greene had just four touches in the opening term, including kicking a behind as he was well-held by a combination of Nick Vlastuin and Liam Baker.

Indeed, his most prolific moment on the broadcast came as the cameras honed in on his hands roaming near Baker’s face.

For his third consecutive final, Greene was under scrutiny for a moment off the ball.

But unlike that semi-final against Brisbane, when every possession turned to gold, this time, there was no counterpoint of footballing brilliance.

In the second quarter, Greene moved into the midfield and racked up seven disposals for the term but was unable to influence the contest as the Tigers took the game by the scruff of the neck.


At one point in the third quarter, Greene took a mark at half-forward but, so caught up in their own reverie, the Richmond faithful hardly noticed, with only a small segment of the crowd clocking on in time to boo the star Giant.

Early in the fourth quarter, having had his third attempt at goal smothered away, a defeated-looking Greene stood with his hands on his head.

A matter of seconds later, Richmond’s Dion Prestia baulked around him with ease.

It just about summed up Greene’s, and the Giants’, day.

While Greene ended the game with respectable numbers – 21 disposals – you would be hard-pressed to say he’d had an impact on the game.

And he, and his Giants, would leave their maiden grand final empty-handed.

Post-match, Greene was among a number of Giants in tears, with his mother Kate and grandmother Jill, 89, among the family members on hand in the GWS rooms.

“It’s really tough. I know what it means to Toby, so I understand what he’s going to feel, but I’m so proud of him as a Mum,” said Greene’s mother.

Heath Shaw hugs Toby Greene after the Giants' huge grand final loss.

Heath Shaw hugs Toby Greene after the Giants’ huge grand final loss. Credit:Getty Images

“You’re out there, you’re in a grand final, this is unbelievable and you should be really proud.

“But at the same time, I know how much he’s going to hurt from this and you wish you could do something to help – I don’t know if there is.”

Post-match, Cameron backed Greene, who has also had some injury issues in recent years, to kick on from the experience.

“He will learn from that and if I know Toby, he will not use one excuse, he will put his hand up and he will probably go too far and blame himself, which is not healthy, he needs to understand that the 22 didn’t get the job done today, not Toby Greene,” Cameron said.

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