Ban Trent Cotchin! Or the rules mean nothing

Nick Nelson Roar Rookie

By Nick Nelson, Nick Nelson is a Roar Rookie

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    I don’t care what week of the year it is. I don’t care that it will cost him a grand final. Trent Cotchin must be banned for his collision with Dylan Shiel.

    Cotchin’s decision to brace for impact with his shoulder makes it clear that his intention was to bump Dylan Shiel away from the contest rather than go directly for the ball.

    That kind of action isn’t illegal in the AFL necessarily, but you do have a duty of care when you do so to not strike your opponent in the head.

    Cotchin failed that duty of care. And while some would say that it is a minor incident and one that’s bound to happen in a contact sport, the AFL’s laws don’t see it this way.

    The head has been sacred for a while now. We know what concussions can do to the human brain and it isn’t pretty, and it isn’t acceptable for them to be brushed off as no big deal.

    Make no mistake, if this incident had occurred inside a home-and-away match it would certainly be cause for a one-week suspension, or at the very least a fine.

    And a fine would do just fine for suspending Cotchin in this case, as he has already been given two this year and a third strike triggers an automatic one-week ban.

    Is that fair? It’s a pretty rough call, but if Cotchin doesn’t want to miss games then he has to not put himself in this position to begin with, simple as that.

    The AFL has to juggle many priorities as it attempts to manage the game and looks to achieve the best outcomes across the board.

    But No.1 on that list of priorities has to be the same as it ought to be in any other business – the health and safety of its employees.

    To let Cotchin play next week would be a violation of that principle, saying that other aspects of the game are more important than whether or not Dylan Shiel is able to think straight in twenty years time.

    Do the right thing, AFL.

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    The Crowd Says (136)

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:06am
      Slane said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      how do you know it was Cotchin’s bump to the shoulder/chest concussed Shiel when he also received a bump from David Astbury with 6 seconds left in the first quarter?

      • September 24th 2017 @ 11:41am
        Tony Tea said | September 24th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        So Astbury should be suspended?

        • September 24th 2017 @ 12:08pm
          Slane said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          Nah. Probably just a fine for that. Wasn’t malicious but he did overrun the ball.

          Shiel passed a concussion test. Played the rest of the quarter. Recieved the Astbury bump. Failed the concussion test shortly after.

          • September 24th 2017 @ 1:29pm
            Joe B said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            The concussion test can’t determine which bump is wholly responsible, it is possible cumulative knocks is the issue. Cumulative knocks is the primary cause of CTE. As a stand alone incident Cotchin should be fined, however, cumulative breaches by Cotchin should result in a suspension.

            • September 24th 2017 @ 3:43pm
              Slane said | September 24th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              The argument could be made that because Shiel may not have been concussed by Cotchin that the incident was only reckless and medium impact. A fine is not always mandated when an incident is only graded as medium impact.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:11am
      Kane said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Unfortunately by the letter of the law Cotchin has to get a week, the AFL have made their bed and now they have to lay in it.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:33am
        Rod said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        I tend to agree. I think he’s in trouble because of the concussion.

        • September 24th 2017 @ 10:48am
          Dier-ba-zor said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          But Dylan Sheil received another numb just before quarter time.

        • September 24th 2017 @ 11:05am
          guttsy said | September 24th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          I think you are confusing the Cotchin situation with a tackling situation where the tackling play ties up arms and brings a player forcefully to ground.

          They are totally different situations, for starters Cotchin was going for the ball and in the later case the tackling player is going for the player with the ball. Different situations resulting in a different duty of care. And this is for a good reason, because when you tackle another player and tie up their arms you take on a duty of care to protect that players head because your action of tieing up the arms means that the player being tackled can no longer do this effectively for themselves.

          I have also been concerned since the MRP made the correct decision in the Dangerfield Tackling Decision that people/commentators (particularly those with an agenda who don’t like the MRP) would be using that decision to say that from then on the MRP needs to take “a letter of the law” approach to everything that comes before it (particularly in relation to concusions) or otherwise it has “no credibility”.

          The Dangerfield Tackling decision only applies to a situation where a tackling player ties up arms, brings a player to ground with force AND there is a concusion. Nothing more and nothing less. The MRP should not feel “boxed in” by its Dangerfield Tackling Decision and because of this suspend Cotchin.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:51am
        Scott said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Too right. It’s a crappy situation but it’s the AFLs fault for going overboard on their rules. They created the rules so they’re gonna have to stick too em. They deserve all the flack they’ll cop this week

      • September 24th 2017 @ 5:51pm
        Razzar said | September 24th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

        If Cotchin did happen to have nothing to answer, it would taint the game, taint Richmond and taint the Grandfinal. Cotchin ran off The line of the ball and collect an opposing player. If you had just run straight at the ball, you may have won it. But you threw yourself into an opposing player with undue force, that had his head down. Cotchin, right there, you lost the right to play in next weeks Grandfinal.

        • September 24th 2017 @ 6:33pm
          Pete said | September 24th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

          Your comment is laughable given Cotchins hands were on the ball at the same time he made contact with Shiel

          • September 24th 2017 @ 7:09pm
            Razzar said | September 24th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

            Sheil’s hands on ball first Pete…check it again… I’m here all night.?

            • September 24th 2017 @ 7:29pm
              Pete said | September 24th 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

              You’re saying he changed direction for Shiel and didn’t go for the ball. Yet his hands make contact with the ball at the same time he hits Shiel…

            • September 24th 2017 @ 7:33pm
              Pete said | September 24th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

              Shiels hands on the ball about 1/10th of a second before Cotchin. Stop watching videos in slow motion and play it in real time…

              • Roar Guru

                September 25th 2017 @ 12:12am
                Dalgety Carrington said | September 25th 2017 @ 12:12am | ! Report

                Cotchin gave up on the ball as first objective when he tucked his right arm and dropped his head.

                The left arm making contact with the ball, was much more by accident rather than design.

                You’d presume Cotchin just decided his best chance was to go for maximum chaos with cannonballing in there, hoping for the ball to spill free and shaking up an opponent in the process. Fine if no one cops a knock to the head, but it’s treading a line with the rules these days.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:18am
      Davo said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      No mention of the effect on gws when shiel couldn’t play out the game. One of their best players and had to sit out the rest of the game. Cotchin has to miss a week. He dove in. No control. Gone.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 11:51am
        Rex said | September 24th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        Any Richmond supporter attempting to defend Cotchin need to ask themselves one thing,

        If Green (similar reputation) chose to bump Dusty, got him in the head, Dusty then fails a concussion test, couldn’t play out the game which in turn influenced the result and Richmond loses the prelim??? I tell you what, you’d have him strung and quartered!

        I understand you don’t want him to miss but he needs to now be accountable for his decision to take his eyes off the ball and bump.

        The MRP need to show consistency and fine or suspend him!!!

        • September 24th 2017 @ 1:28pm
          Basil said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Brilliant summary

        • September 24th 2017 @ 1:31pm
          TC123 said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          As a Richmond supporter I am 100% certain that had it been Dusty injured by Greene I would consider it an unfortunate accident and expect no further mention of it. I couldn’t care less if you believe me or not but you asked the question. Im surprised by all the talk regarding it to be honest. Let’s look at it another way. Had it been any other Tiger would the incident have received a single replay?

          • September 24th 2017 @ 2:26pm
            Maurice said | September 24th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

            Agreed. Second rate commentary from Brazel on channel 7 talking about it for rest of the game ,as he had nothing else to contribute , he must of run out of corny , not funny jokes for the year. Deserved 2 replays for all to see it was nothing , then the world move on. No air for any second rate journalist to write about.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 12:38pm
        Leonard said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        “He dove in” – love it! (It’s similar past tense [Ask an older teacher] as in to ‘today I drive / yesterday I drove’.)

        Hasn’t been used much since Shakespeare’s day in British English, but survives in US English (because of being cut off by a very big ocean).

        Teachers of English (that is, those who actually knew lots of stuff about their classroom subject) used to have a bit of fun giving old fashioned past tenses to verbs, such as “Tiger fans jove all night to their club song”. Or “Italy sode with Germany in WWII”. Or “Hardwick drug Cotchin to the bench too late to avoid a booking.” Or “Tiger fans chanted ‘We shat on them!’.”

        Yes, pretty irrelevant, but, hey – lighten up!

      • September 24th 2017 @ 3:01pm
        Jean Housley said | September 24th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        I agree. he has to be suspended. How do we know how the game would have turned out if Alex Rance or Dustin Martin were concussed.
        A great player like Dylan, would have had an impact on the result.
        Supporters of other teams will be closely watching the outcome of the MRP.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:25am
      BigAl said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      This should at least force the AFL’s hand in making them ban the bump !

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:37am
        Rod said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        That’ll ruin the game. The fate of just one player shouldn’t cause that!

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:46am
        Lroy said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        No bumps, then its inevitable they will ban tackling… so we no longer have Australian Rules Football…

        In a contact sport, people get hurt. There has to be a recognition that when you play sport, you agree to accept all the risks that go with it. That includes accidental high shots that could cause concussion. If a person is not prepared to do that accept that, then they shouldn’t play the game.

        More people (per head of population) get serious head injuries from horse riding than motorcycling. Should we euthenise all the horses and ban all forms of horse riding??

        We may as well ban sport completely, soccer players get head trauma from repeated heading the ball, tennis players tear hamstrings, cyclists have the odd crash. I fell over once walking my dog… ban everything since everything can cause injuries.

        • September 24th 2017 @ 10:53am
          Scott said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          Haha good comment Lroy

        • September 24th 2017 @ 12:23pm
          BigAl said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          Not true ! simply make it a rule that when tackling a player you have to claim them or attempt to do so !

          “…people get hurt..” – if playing by the rules leads to serious head injury, then those who set those rules are leaving themselves open to serious legal damages/compensation – everybody with an ounce of anything sees this !

          Legal cases for this sort of issue, all over the world – like Winter – is coming !

          • September 24th 2017 @ 12:38pm
            mickyo said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            The AFL say yes to SSM, now are they going to say yes to head high bumps ?

            Incidentally i am interested their opinion and guidance on banning the burqa and coal fired power stations V nuclear, also i saw a dog off a lead at our local park, what is the AFL’s stance on this yes or no ?

            • September 24th 2017 @ 1:19pm
              BigAl said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

              I am not interested in the AFL’s opinion on most of the issues you mention (particularly the one about the dog and the park) – and I think they should keep them to themselves !

              However their opinion on the Cotchin tackle could well be critical for the wellbeing of players and infact to the long term well being of the game itself – and therefore needs to be heared loud and clear.

              • September 24th 2017 @ 1:30pm
                mickyo said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                I agree that they should keep non football opinions to themselves, i just got a bit off track.

                We shall see how fair dinkum they are.

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:39am
      Rod said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      I tend to agree. I think he’s in trouble because of the concussion.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:50am
        Sam said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        Very unfair that the media is not giving any coverage to the bump that Shiels received at the end of the quarter.. they’re calling it delayed concussion, when he started showing the symptons immediately after the second collision! So all this talk about him having to go because of the concussion element are BS, as there is a level of reasonable doubt as to whether Cotchins impact caused the concussion

        • September 24th 2017 @ 12:28pm
          BigAl said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          Irrelevant, what’s being discussed here is the legality of Cotchin’s bump !
          I repeat, – Cotchin’s bump

    • September 24th 2017 @ 10:44am
      Matto said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      This is just a campaign by the people butt hurt from richmonds run.
      Hidden behind the silly “someone please think of the children/any head contact can be prevented” campaign.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 10:53am
        Mattyb said | September 24th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        That’s not true,most people are right behind the Tigers and see their rise as a wonderful thing. People who think Cotchin should be suspended just want to see the laws enforced properly,and have concerns for players that suffer concussion due to scientific research as to how they may be effected severely in later life.

        • September 24th 2017 @ 12:01pm
          mickyo said | September 24th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          Bit of both IMO, some people want him suspended may be Adelaide fans who people who dont like him, but in the main he should go because it was reckless and potentially dangerous, it was also against the rules of the game as they stand.

      • September 24th 2017 @ 1:40pm
        TC123 said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        spot on there. I’ve never heard so much whinging and moaning over really what was a player going in hard for the ball. Actually having people respond by saying “watch the replay” is stupid. A replay doesn’t tell you what Cotchins mindset was. Any other tiger and this wouldn’t have been an issue

        • September 24th 2017 @ 1:45pm
          mickyo said | September 24th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

          Nonsense, if any other Tiger had done it, they would be gone already, game set and match.

          A replay tells you exactly his mindset, his shoulder is tucked in and he protects himself from being open and hands are not going for the ball, he knew exactly what he was doing and that was going the man in a head high bump.

          • September 24th 2017 @ 11:30pm
            Glenn said | September 24th 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

            Exactly. Cotchin has made it clear all year that he intends to hurt whenever he gets the chance. Of course he was trying to take Shiel out. He may not have meant to hit his head, but when you are barreling into a contest like Cotchin did, you have to consider the damage you might cause.

      • September 25th 2017 @ 7:51am
        Bill Larkin said | September 25th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        Rationality goes out the window when it comes to Richmond and finals.

        Cotchin sealed his fate when he dropped his shoulder and tucked in his elbow. He hit Shiel in the head. In any fair and reasonable system he must go.

        But, rationality goes out the window…….

        • September 25th 2017 @ 10:45am
          zubrick said | September 25th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          yep totally right there bill
          cotchin got a bit excited and illegally assaulted an opponent
          gone for all money….pity hes a fine player and the tigers will miss him
          this action has cost the tiges the chance of a premiership in 2017
          id think…hope dylan shiel comes thru this ok

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