Richmond skipper Cotchin cleared to play in grand final
TRENT Cotchin has been cleared to play in Saturday's AFL grand final.
The Richmond captain's bump on Giant Dylan Shiel in Saturday night's preliminary final was assessed by the match review panel today, with the incident deemed not to be a reportable offence.
The panel said Cotchin's direction "was in line of the ball, not the opponent”.
It also determined that the contact "was not unreasonable in the circumstances”.
When asked post-match whether he thought he was in trouble, Cotchin said: "I don't think so, from memory, I was going for the footy.
"(My instinct) was to hit the contest hard, just going for the ball.
"I would like to think so (that he will be fine). Again, it is out of my control - it is what it is.”
Under tribunal rules, a fine meant an automatic one-game ban because Cotchin has been fined twice already this season for similar offences.
Cotchin's teammate Brandon Ellis was cleared by the MRP for contact on Giant Lachie Whitfield. It determined that Ellis was contesting the ball, and no further action was taken.
Adelaide star Rory Sloane was cleared for his contact with former teammate Patrick Dangerfield, with the panel determining that he braced for contact and did not use a bump action.
The Herald Sun reported Monday that a Greater Western Sydney medical report which cannot state when Shiel was concussed could have been key to saving Cotchin's Grand Final hopes.
It was revealed that GWS doctors could not decide which of two first-quarter incidents concussed Shiel.
Shiel played on for another 10 minutes then was hit by Richmond's David Astbury just seconds before the quarter-time break where his day ended.
AFL legend Leigh Matthews on Sunday said he believed that Cotchin should be cleared, declaring there was no doubt the Tigers skipper had eyes for the ball.
"He's going for the footy, his hands are down for the football and he ends up with the footy in his hands,” he said on Channel 7.
"You can't bump high but that wasn't a bump, that was more a collision for me.
"You've got to be able to attack the footy with as much force and ferocity as you can summons.
"I think it would be really bad for the game if there was a problem with that incident.”
Adelaide vice-captain Rory Sloane was also set to come under scrutiny for his big hit on former teammate Patrick Dangerfield.
The Geelong star briefly left the field on Friday night when he was laid out in the collision with Sloane.