Cotch-in! Tigers captain free to play in AFL grand final

Lawrence Kim
September 25, 2017

Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin will play in Saturday's AFL grand final against Adelaide after being cleared of any wrongdoing in an incident involving Greater Western Sydney star Dylan Shiel.

Shiel, who stayed on the field after the initial hit, was involved in a passage of play with seconds left in the term.

"It was the view of the panel the contact was not unreasonable in the circumstances and no further action was taken".

It would have been a tough break for Cotchin, his leadership such a huge part of why Richmond have the opportunity on Saturday to win their first flag since 1980.

"I've got no control over it... what will be will be", he said this afternoon.

Sports doctor Peter Larkins told 3AW Radio that Shiel had suffered blurred vision.

Under tribunal rules, a fine meant an automatic one-game ban because Cotchin has been fined twice already this season for similar offences.

"It will be what it will be".

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick claimed not to have seen the incident but said Cotchin was a fair player - an assessment backed up by Giants counterpart Leon Cameron. Slow-motion replays show Cotchin showing some measure of protection by tucking both his elbow and shoulder in prior to impact.

"Other people will make their assessments and we'll go from there".

A second bump on Shiel by Richmond defender David Astbury 10 minutes after the Cotchin hit could have been a factor in the injury.

Hawthorn premiership player Campbell Brown said Cotchin should not be penalised for the challenge.

The MRP deemed Cotchin's direction was in line of the ball and contact was not unreasonable given the circumstances.

"(My instinct) was to hit the contest hard, just going for the ball. "Everything players are taught to do", Brown posted on Twitter.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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