Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin faces the nightmare prospect of being suspended for the AFL grand final after a high bump on Greater Western Sydney’s Dylan Shiel.
Cotchin was among the Tigers’ best as they stormed their way to their first grand final since 1982 with a 36-point win over the Giants in Saturday’s preliminary final at the MCG.
But the 27-year-old faces a nervous wait to learn whether he will become the first player since Collingwood’s Anthony Rocca in 2003 to miss the premiership decider through suspension.
Shiel failed a concussion test after Cotchin barrelled into his shoulder midway through the first quarter and made contact with his jaw.
The gun midfielder initially stayed on the ground but was ruled out for the game during the second term.
Cotchin has already been fined twice this season for low-level offences, and a third would result in an automatic suspension.
A despondent Shiel emerged from the Giants’ rooms midway through the second quarter and sat on the bench with his jacket on.
Leading sports doctor Peter Larkins told 3AW Radio that Shiel had suffered blurred vision.
The AFL’s crackdown on head-high contact means Cotchin is certain to face a nervous wait for the match review panel to hand down their findings on Monday afternoon.
“It’s out of my control,” he said after the game.
“I was going for the footy.
“It will be what it will be. I can’t do anything about it.”
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.
“At the end of the day, he’s a ball player,” Hardwick said.
“Other people will make their assessments and we’ll go from there.”
Potentially in Cotchin’s favour is the fact that Shiel had also copped a separate high bump from Tigers defender David Astbury later in the first term.
Hawthorn premiership player Campbell Brown said Cotchin should not be penalised for the challenge.
“Cotchin in NO trouble for contact. Went low, hard, eyes on ball and won it. Everything players are taught to do,” Brown posted on Twitter.