Sport AFL AFL Finals 2017: Trent Cotchin cleared for grand final
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AFL Finals 2017: Trent Cotchin cleared for grand final

Trent Cotchin cleared by MRP
The panel said Trent Cotchin's direction was towards the ball, not towards his opponent Photo: Getty
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Trent Cotchin has been cleared to play in the AFL grand final after the match review panel (MRP) decided not to charge the Richmond captain for his clash with Dylan Shiel.

Cotchin needed only to be fined by the MRP to miss the grand final, with two earlier indiscretions this season leaving him in last-chance territory.

The Tigers skipper made contact with the face of GWS player Shiel, tucking his shoulder in for contact as the two players competed for the ball on the wing.

The MRP said Cotchin’s direction was towards the ball, not towards his opponent.

The impact saw Shiel miss three quarters of the preliminary final with a concussion, as Richmond won by 36 points to secure a first grand final appearance in 35 years.

In a clean run for the panel, the MRP also cleared Richmond’s Brandon Ellis for his contact on the Giants’ Lachie Whitfield, arguing he was contesting the ball.

Trent Cotchin and Dylan Shiel
Trent Cotchin and Dylan Shiel collide, forcing the Giants star off with concussion.

Richmond’s more vaunted grand final opposition, Adelaide, will be fielding its vice-captain after Rory Sloane was cleared of contact with Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield in the other preliminary final.

The MRP argued Sloane braced for contact and did use a bump action, clearing him to play in the decider.

More to come.