GREENE GONE FOR THREE
1.05pm: Toby Greene has been suspended for THREE matches. He will miss the remainder of Greater Western Sydney's season, regardless of how far in the finals the Giants progress. The jury deliberated on a penalty for 17 minutes.
GREENE DEPARTS TRIBUNAL
12.56pm: Toby Greene has been forced to leave the AFL Tribunal, as Greater Western Sydney has a flight to catch to Western Australia for Friday night's semi-final against Geelong. The Tribunal has been informed that he will phone in on his way to the airport.
JURY TO DELIBERATE ON PENALTY
12.54pm: The Tribunal's jury will now deliberate once again, this time on a penalty. The AFL is arguing for a minimum six-match suspension, while Toby Greene's camp is arguing for a fine in the region of $20-25,000. We'll have an outcome soon.
GREENE'S SIDE ARGUES AGAINST SUSPENSION
12.46pm: Toby Greene's representative, Ben Ihle QC, says this is an unusual case. He points to Tom Hawkins' one-match ban for swotting the hand of umpire Dean Margetts in 2018 and says the jury should be informed "by the previous cases that have come before you". He argues for a "severe financial penalty" and not a suspension. He says a fine of between $20-25,000 is appropriate.
AFL ARGUES FOR MASSIVE PENALTY
12.40pm: The AFL's legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson QC, is arguing for a suspension of no less than six matches. He says: "This is a serious offence and a serious moment in the governance of the game."
12.32pm: After deliberating for 44 minutes, the AFL Tribunal has found Toby Greene GUILTY of making intentional contact with umpire Matt Stevic. The jury is satisfied that the contact was aggressive, demonstrative and disrespectful. The Tribunal will now debate what the appropriate penalty for Greene should be.
JURY TO DELIBERATE
11.47am: The Tribunal's jury will now deliberate on whether they find Toby Greene guilty, or not guilty, of making intentional contact with umpire Matt Stevic. We'll have an outcome shortly.
FINAL SUBMISSIONS LODGED
11.34am: Toby Greene's representative, Ben Ihle QC, agrees that "it's not a good look for the game … it's a terrible look". But he says the question the Tribunal must consider is: "At the point contact was made, what was going through Toby Greene's mind?" He says the Tribunal can't make a decision based on the look, but what was going through Greene's head. He later says: "Mr Greene should have never put himself in that situation, but that doesn't mean he made intentional contact".
GREENE'S ACTION 'INSOLENT AND CONTEMPTUOUS'
11.06am: We are back from our break. Jeff Gleeson QC lodges his final submission, saying that "umpires are untouchable". He continues: "It's fundamental to our game … that the umpire is respected. The moment any of us deviate from enforcing that rule, because it's hard, is the moment we change the game and the way our umpires are treated." Gleeson says Greene "complained, swore, got in his face, and bumped him". He said Greene's actions were "insolent and contemptuous".
A BREAK IS CALLED
10.45am: Greene says: "I understand the important role the umpires play in the game. I understand that contact is not supposed to be made with the umpires." He has now finished giving evidence. Tribunal chairman Ross Howie suggests a 10-minute break, given we are now approaching two hours' worth of evidence.
GLEESON GRILLS GREENE
10.37am: Jeff Gleeson QC contends Greene could have "easily followed" teammate Harry Perryman in walking past Stevic. He says it's his job to control the movements of his body, yet still walks into him and bumps into him with his shoulder. Greene says: "I made contact, I didn't bump him." Gleeson says he "veered towards" Stevic, but Greene denies this. He says: "I was engaging in a discussion. That's why I was extremely close to him."
GREENE SAYS SORRY
10.26am: Greene concedes: "I don't think it's a great look. Upon watching the vision, I agree (with Stevic's view). I was the one who caused the contact, but I was trying to avoid it at the same time as well. I do apologise for making contact. It's certainly something I wasn't trying to do. I agree it's not a great look for the game and I do apologise."
GREENE SAYS HE TRIED TO AVOID STEVIC
10.24am: We are looking at frame-by-frame images of Greene as he makes contact with umpire Stevic. Greene says he was "beginning to roll to avoid contact" when he walked past him. He says he turned his shoulders to do so. Greene says: "I was talking to Matt about the decision, that's what was going through my mind. I realised I was close to him and, naturally, I tried to avoid it. I strongly disagree (it was intentional). I highly respect Matt."
GREENE EXPLAINS CLOSENESS
10.15am: Greene says he was looking towards the three-quarter time huddle as contact was made with Stevic. He says he was thinking about their conversation at the time and says he was not thinking about making contact with the umpire. He says he didn't realise he would ever make contact with him, and wasn't aware at the time that he had. Greene says: "I was aware I was very close to him … there were some loud noises around me, so that's why I was extremely close. There were a lot of loud noises coming from my teammates."
GREENE UNAWARE OF CONTACT
10.06am: Toby Greene has been called to provide evidence. He says he was unaware he made contact with Stevic until commentator Luke Hodge asked him a question about it after the game. He says any contact was "minor".
STEVIC SAYS CONTACT WAS 'DISRESPECTFUL'
10.03am: Stevic says that in the moment he didn't feel the contact was disrespectful, aggressive or demonstrative. He also says it was minor. However, having viewed the incident since, and having realised he didn't contribute to the incident, he says: "To be honest, I don't think it's a good look for the game. I don't believe the contact was forceful. I would say there is an element of it being disrespectful."
STEVIC EVIDENCE CONTINUES
9.57am: Stevic says he felt "minor impact", then says he didn't feel "threatened". He says he didn't mention the exchange or the contact to his fellow umpires at the three-quarter time huddle, as he wasn't sure whether other factors had contributed to the impact. He says the contact "wasn't front of mind" during the remainder of the game.
STEVIC'S PRE-MATCH CHAT WITH TOBY
9.48am: Matt Stevic is being cross-examined by Ben Ihle QC. He says of Greene's language: "I didn't find that abusive … he challenged me on his version of events." Stevic says he had a conversation with Greene 90 minutes before the game. They had a brief chat about where the Giants were staying. He told Toby he had a "really good handle" on this season's new stand rule, then wished him all the best. He says it's "common" to do this, saying it "builds respect" with players.
UMPIRE STEVIC GIVES EVIDENCE
9.40am: Umpire Stevic has been called to provide evidence. He says: "As Toby got closer, he challenged me on a particular decision and said the player had 'f***ing dived'. I felt some minor contact. From what I recall on the day, Toby accepted that and we moved on from there. In regards to making match-day reports for player contact with an umpire, we need to be 100 per cent sure that the contact was unreasonable, unnecessary or intentional. At the time, I wasn't 100 per cent sure if there were other factors that may have contributed. Seeing the vision post-game, it made clear to me that I was stationary. I did not step into Toby or cause the contact."
STEVIC'S POST-GAME EMAIL ON THE BUMP
9.30am: Umpire Matt Stevic sent an email after the match that said: "I was aware he made some minor contact with me … I considered the contact minor and didn't feel threatened at the time." He is now being called to provide evidence.
GREENE'S COMMENTS REVEALED
9.28am: We are hearing audio from Matt Stevic's umpire mic during the incident. Greene, when approaching Stevic, says: "He took a f***ing dive."
OPENING ARGUMENTS BEGIN
9.26am: We are just establishing exactly what charge Greene can be judged on this morning. Ben Ihle QC is arguing that if Greene is not found guilty of 'intentional' contact with an umpire, he cannot be found guilty of intentional contact with an umpire that is 'unreasonable or unnecessary'. The Tribunal's chairman, Ross Howie, ultimately rules against this. The jury will consider whether Greene's actions were aggressive, forceful, demonstrative or disrespectful. If they rule he is not guilty of any of these 'four adjectives', they can consider whether his actions were 'unreasonable or unnecessary'.
GREENE PLEADS NOT GUILTY
9.03am: Toby Greene is pleading 'not guilty' to the charge of making intentional contact with umpire Matt Stevic. Contact is admitted, but Greene will be arguing about the intention.
THE JURY REVEALED
9.00am: The jury for today's Toby Greene's case is made up of Shane Wakelin, Stephen Jurica and Richard Loveridge. Greene will be represented by Ben Ihle QC, while the AFL's legal counsel will be Jeff Gleeson QC. We’re about to get underway.
THE INCIDENT | THE CHARGE | WHY THE TRIBUNAL IS A MORNING SITTING
CONTROVERSIAL superstar Toby Greene is about to learn his finals fate for making contact with an umpire during a rare morning AFL Tribunal hearing.
The dual All-Australian will front the Tribunal at 9am AEST today, charged with making "intentional umpire contact" on whistleblower Matt Stevic during Saturday's thrilling elimination final win against Sydney.
>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER BELOW
AFL Tribunal cases almost always take place in the evening but the AFL has broken with convention due to GWS' travel arrangements.
The Giants will fly out of Tasmania this afternoon to Perth, where they will then prepare for Friday night's semi-final against Geelong at Optus Stadium.
It is not the first time Greene has been involved in a Tribunal saga during a finals series, with the dynamite forward missing GWS' 2019 preliminary final win over Collingwood for making contact with Brisbane star Lachie Neale's eye region.
His fate at the Tribunal will in part hinge on evidence provided by the experienced Stevic around the nature of their interaction.
AFL rules state "contact with an umpire that is aggressive, forceful, demonstrative or disrespectful will be deemed intentional and the player will be directly referred to the Tribunal".
Greene has a long Tribunal record that includes a $1950 fine eight years ago for reckless umpire contact. - AAP