THE SPITEFUL rivalry developing between the Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney has a new chapter written, with Lachie Whitfield forced out of Friday night's game due to concussion following a heavy collision with Aaron Naughton.
>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
A physical opening term at Marvel Stadium reached its climax when Naughton attacked the footy, collecting Whitfield with the point of his shoulder.
DOGS DOWN GIANTS Full match coverage and stats
Whitfield immediately came from the field and had his jaw checked, before he was taken to the rooms at quarter-time and ultimately ruled out of the game as a result of a concussion test.
Naughton, who braced at the last instant and also didn’t deviate from his line, is likely to still attract Match Review scrutiny for the bump having taken his eyes from the ball before making contact with Whitfield.
The two sides have developed a bitter rivalry recently, which boiled over last season in two significant Match Review incidents late in the season.
Marcus Bontempelli was fined for a high hit on Nick Haynes in round 22 last year, despite fracturing his larynx as a result of the incident, in part due to there being no medical report at the time the Match Review Officer was due to make his decision.
Toby Greene then also avoided suspension following an elimination final incident involving Bontempelli, where he appeared to scratch the eye and pull the hair of the star Bulldogs midfielder.
Speaking after the match, Giants coach Leon Cameron said he didn't have an issue with Naughton's bump and didn't foresee the Bulldogs forward coming under Match Review scrutiny this week.
"It is what it is … it's footy," Cameron said.
"Looking back on the replay, it's just a good, honest clash between two good players.
"It's disappointing, because clearly he gives us an enormous amount of run and he helps us break those lines and get the ball inside 50 and gives us some opportunities.
"But he's probably going to have a sore head tonight. Hopefully he can put his hand up and be ready to go for next Friday night. He'll be OK."