Shiel was ‘cheated’ by Cotchin non-citing

Dylan Shiel feels “cheated” by the AFL’s judicial system after Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin dodged suspension for a high bump that concussed the Greater Western Sydney star.

Cotchin will lead the Tigers into their first grand final in 35 years after being cleared of any wrongdoing in last weekend’s preliminary final.

The match review panel on Monday ruled that Cotchin had no case to answer over his clash with Shiel midway through the first quarter.

Shiel later failed a concussion test and played no further part in the game after quarter-time, with the Tigers going on to claim a 36-point win.

There was speculation that Shiel’s concussion may have stemmed from a later collision with Tigers defender David Astbury.

But former Richmond assistant coach Mark Williams – whose daughter is dating Shiel – said there was no doubt the Cotchin incident was the cause, adding that the Tiger “100 per cent” deserved to be suspended.

“(Shiel) feels cheated. I’ve talked to him,” Williams told SEN Radio on Monday.

“Did he get concussed? Yes he did.

“Did he get concussed in the first collision with Cotchin? Yes he did.

“He could not see properly after that. There was an opportunity where he goes for a mark and completely misses it.

“I feel for him, he has been completely cheated by the system.”

Cotchin risked becoming the first player to miss an AFL grand final because of a preliminary-final suspension since Collingwood’s Anthony Rocca in 2003.

The 27-year-old was walking a tightrope as he had twice been fined earlier this year for minor indiscretions.

A third charge – even if the contact had been deemed as low – would have triggered a ban.

In explaining the decision not to lay a rough-conduct charge, the MRP said Cotchin was seeking to win the ball and contact was not unreasonable under the circumstances.

“My intention was always going for the footy so I was glad that’s the way they ruled it,” Cotchin said on Monday.

“That’s about all that was in my control.”

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