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Giants hit out at Demon hecklers

GREATER Western Sydney boss David Matthews yesterday took a thinly veiled swipe at those Melbourne fans who booed and heckled Tom Scully at the MCG on Sunday.

Matthews said that while it was "good to see some passion showed by Melbourne supporters, they should remember that people are entitled to make decisions about their lives''.

"I understand Melbourne supporters' disappointment but there's no need to be disrespectful. Remember this is the club that took Jeff White back from Fremantle after two years. I'm not worried for Tom. Tom held his head high, but people should remember it's his life and he has done what Jeff White did and what Anthony Rocca did."

The AFL has stood by the decision of security staff to remove banners from the MCG stands that accused Scully of putting dollars ahead of loyalty in leaving Melbourne, while the MCC has hit back at suggestions the security was heavy-handed.

The MCC said yesterday only two banners were removed - one for being too big and the other for being offensive. It said no one was evicted and the fan wearing fake banknotes on his jacket was challenged by security staff because of his offensive language rather than his jacket.

Signs carrying the barbs ''Juda$ 31'' and ''Scu££y'' were among those brought to the ground.


Scully, Melbourne's No. 1 draft pick in 2009 who left the club to accept a $6 million, five-year deal with the league's newest team, also copped his share of jeers and boos during the Giants' 78-point loss.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said banners could be removed at grounds if they carried abusive language or if they exceeded size requirements, and also confirmed that the league took a dim view of supporters criticising opposition players.

According to Greater Western Sydney list manager Stephen Silvagni, Scully would be better having put the initial clash against his old club and teammates behind him.

Silvagni said Scully would have expected the scrutiny in the lead-up to Sunday's game and looked pleased in the rooms afterwards to have got through the experience.

''It would have been a bit of a relief for him to get through it. He's done it so he moves forward,'' Silvagni said yesterday.

The Giants can expect a more welcoming atmosphere on Saturday night when they play Sydney at ANZ Stadium, and could have Israel Folau back in the side as the convert is close to overcoming a hamstring injury.


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