Richmond midfielder Trent Cotchin’s so-called award-winning Logie performance was not enough to earn Sydney superstar Lance Franklin a reprieve at the AFL tribunal.
Franklin failed to overturn his one-game ban for striking the three-time Tigers premiership captain and will miss the Swans’ round-12 AFL clash with Melbourne.
The Swans boldly took Franklin’s case to the tribunal in an attempt to have the talismanic forward available for Saturday night’s blockbuster game against the ladder-leading Demons.
But after deliberating for 30 minutes, the tribunal jury upheld the charge, which was graded by the AFL’s match review officer as intentional, low impact and high contact.
“This was a strike, swift and direct and noticeably more aggressive and forceful than the first act,” tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said.
“Cotchin’s head jerks back in a natural response to contact to the jaw.
“His response was spontaneous and intentional.”
The Swans argued Franklin pushed Cotchin rather than strike him during Friday night’s thriller at the SCG and the impact was negligible instead of low.
The Swans’ case hinged greatly on arguing Cotchin exaggerated the contact during the second quarter of the match, with the club’s legal representative Duncan Miller delivering a cheeky one-liner.
“I suggest Cotchin might get an invite to the Logies instead of the Brownlow this year,” Miller told the tribunal.
“The exaggerated head movement gave it away, then there’s a wry smile on Cotchin’s face.”
The AFL’s legal counsel Andrew Woods delivered a stinging assessment of Franklin’s conduct.
“It’s a strike and not push,” Woods told the tribunal.
“Did Franklin hit Cotchin? Of course he did as Cotchin had got under his skin.
“There’s kids watching, there’s families watching, it’s cowardly behaviour.
“It’s not the fight club or a combat sport.”
Franklin also gave evidence, saying he had eyes only for the ball and argued he pushed Cotchin in the chest.
“At no point in the game did I think I punched him in the face,” the 35-year-old said.
The Swans have the bye in round 13 so Franklin will not be able to play again until a game against Port Adelaide on June 18.