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Cotchin or Astbury? Who caused Shiel's injury?

Nathan Schmook  September 25, 2017 8:19 AM

Match Review Panel meeting underway Early Footy Feed headlines with Matt Thompson
AFL 2017 Second Preliminary Final - Richmond v GWS

David Astbury collides with Dylan Shiel during the preliminary final

THE MATCH Review Panel will put its faith in Greater Western Sydney's medical report when deciding Trent Cotchin's fate on Monday, ruling out a further investigation if the Giants' report is inconclusive.

While Cotchin could be cleared by the MRP before the impact of his collision with midfielder Dylan Shiel is even considered, a medical report from GWS will become crucial if the Panel decides the Richmond captain has a case to answer.

There are doubts surrounding exactly when Shiel suffered concussion in Saturday's preliminary final, with the midfielder involved in another collision with Richmond defender David Astbury 10 minutes after the Cotchin incident.

The Giants were preparing to submit their report to the MRP on Monday morning, with the Panel convening at the earlier time of 9am.

In the biggest case the AFL judiciary has faced in more than a decade, the MRP would have no option but to proceed if the medical report was uncertain, assessing impact using other evidence.

"It's before the MRP. We'll fill out the medical report this morning. I don't think I can go into it any further than that," GWS football manager Wayne Campbell told SEN on Monday morning.

If Cotchin is suspended for Saturday's Grand Final, his charge will fall under either rough conduct or forceful front-on contact, with Shiel hit while he had his head over the football.

The question of whether Cotchin was contesting the ball will be critical, with the midfielder certain to be cleared if the MRP is satisfied he was doing so.

Shiel returned to play after the Cotchin collision but was collected again by Astbury just before the quarter-time siren. He was diagnosed with concussion and unable to play the final three quarters of Saturday's clash at the MCG.

Dylan Shiel tumbles to the turf after his collision with David Astbury. Picture: AFL Photos

Former Tribunal member Jimmy Bartel told 3AW on Sunday that Cotchin should be cleared, using West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern's collision with Jarrad Waite in round one as a precedent.

The MRP cleared McGovern of any wrongdoing, saying: "McGovern has his right arm down to reach for the ball when high contact was made to Waite and a free kick was paid to the North Melbourne player. It was the view of the panel that McGovern was contesting the ball and no further action was required."

The MRP will meet on Monday morning with a collision between Adelaide star Rory Sloane and Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield also on the radar.

Richmond half-back Brandon Ellis will also be scrutinised for a high bump on GWS midfielder Lachie Whitfield, but he is expected to escape with a fine.