Coniglio’s AFL absence incenses Giants

Greater Western Sydney have taken aim at the punishment handed to Essendon bad boy Adam Cooney with king hit victim Stephen Coniglio ruled out of Saturday’s AFL match with Port Adelaide.

Coniglio failed a concussion test on Thursday ahead of the Giants’ trip to South Australia, meaning he will miss as much football as Cooney, who was handed a one-week ban by the AFL tribunal.

In last Sunday’s match between GWS and Essendon, Cooney lined up Coniglio late in the final term with a high and vicious hip and shoulder.

The 21-year-old was left clutching his head and took no further part, while Cooney was sent straight to the tribunal for the action.

A decade-long career without suspension and a good character reference from former coach Rodney Eade ensured the Bomber’s ban was just one week, incensing Giants CEO Dave Matthews.

“When I was told it was a one-week penalty I thought it was a joke, I thought someone was having a lend of me,” he told the AFL website.

“That is significant unders.

“What Cooney did to Coniglio is unacceptable and if you want to send that message then it’s got to be more than one week.

“I didn’t like it, the game is tougher than it’s ever been but there’s no room for that.

“Stephen Coniglio (is) a real ball player and it was even more necessary given the state of the game.

Coach Leon Cameron said Coniglio’s absence was disappointing.

“He was probably 60-40 during the week but struggled a little bit yesterday,” he told the club’s website.

“Unfortunately he can’t play but he should be right for next week.”

The Giants remain in finals contention and named three inclusions for the match against Port Adelaide.

Important defender Tomas Bugg returns along with Jack Steele and Zac Williams, with Tom Scully (shoulder) and Adam Treloar (groin) joining Coniglio on the outer.

The Giants also announced the re-signing of 20-year-old Williams late on Thursday.

Cameron said Williams’ speed off the backline made him an exciting player.

“He’s improving week by week and we’re excited for what his future holds.”

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