Only tribunal challenge can save Cotchin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Only tribunal challenge can save Cotchin

By Adam Cooper 19/07/2010 10:46:45 PM Comments (0)

Only a successful tribunal challenge can prevent Richmond failing in their plea for the AFL match review panel to spare midfielder Trent Cotchin, who faces a hefty suspension for charging.

Cotchin is likely to be suspended for three games for crashing into the back of North Melbourne's Sam Wright at the MCG on Sunday, which left the Kangaroo with concussion.

Cotchin will risk a four-game ban if the Tigers opt to challenge at the tribunal on Tuesday.

"I'm obviously very disappointed in myself, more so because I let the team down," Cotchin told Network Ten on Monday night.

"I probably needed to put the hand out to spoil which would have made it look not as bad as it was."

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick on Sunday hoped the panel would judge Cotchin's contact the same way it had when assessing a similar charge against Essendon's David Hille earlier this year.

Hille crashed into the back of Geelong's Jimmy Bartel but escaped penalty, which renewed questions about the judicial system's consistency.

North defender Daniel Pratt on Monday admitted players were frustrated by inconsistencies handed down by the panel.

Pratt said the playing body was close to demanding the AFL review the judicial system and the panel's workings.

"There's too many inconsistencies now," he said.

"The speed of the game's increased so much that decisions like that, for Cotchin to stay or go, if you put it in context of when he's got the football, if he makes the wrong decision with the ball ... it's just a turnover, but if you make a wrong decision there you can find yourself getting weeks.

"It would be good if they could have a look at it and the sooner the better."

The panel's recent decisions over Carlton skipper Chris Judd and Geelong forward Steve Johnson also raised questions about consistency.

Judd avoided penalty despite throwing back an elbow into the face of Fremantle counterpart Matthew Pavlich over the first weekend of the split round 13, which cut the Docker's cheek.

Johnson was suspended for a similar offence against St Kilda's Steven Baker the following weekend, while Baker was suspended for nine games for a series of offences against the Cat.

Poor records came back to hurt Port Adelaide forward Daniel Motlop and Brisbane Lions defender Ash McGrath, who were hit with suspensions for engaging in rough conduct on opponents.

Motlop was suspended for two games for an offence against the Western Bulldogs' Shaun Higgins in Darwin on Saturday night and cannot reduce the penalty because of his record.

McGrath faces the same problem, as he was suspended for one game for an incident involving Hawthorn captain Sam Mitchell in Launceston on Saturday.

But a good record helped Carlton's Andrew Walker avoid suspension for making a front-on challenge on Sydney's Ben McGlynn at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Adelaide midfielder Michael Doughty can accept a reprimand for engaging in rough conduct against Geelong's Mathew Stokes last Friday night.

West Coast's Eric Mackenzie can also escape penalty for the same charge involving Essendon's Jay Neagle on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

North defender Michael Firrito can accept a reprimand for striking Richmond's Robin Nahas.

West Coast's Andrew Embley ($2400), Brisbane's Jack Redden ($1200) and Melbourne's Jordie McKenzie ($1200) were all fined for making contact with umpires, but can reduce their penalties by pleading guilty.

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