Richmond Captain Trent Cotchin is expected to use an extraordinary defence if officially cited for his high hit on Dylan Shiel during last Saturday’s Preliminary Final. While the AFL’s Match Review Panel is expected to announce their decision later today, Cotchin has reportedly already begun preparing a defence that will enable him to play in this week’s Grand Final. 

In arguably the strangest defence given by a player in tribunal history, it is believed that Cotchin will claim he was merely bending down to pick some rubbish off the hallowed MCG turf. The defence will rely heavily on the widely reported act of Cotchin picking up rubbish in the Richmond changerooms following their win in the Qualifying Final a few weeks ago. In that incident, Cotchin received wide praise for showing leadership and respect when he was filmed picking up drink bottles and other rubbish before he left the rooms for the night. 

In a Watsonia Bugle exclusive, Cotchin told us this morning, “yeah look, I spotted a bit of chewie on the turf and bent down to pick it up, without realising Dylan was in the vicinity. Considering the widespread acclaim I received for cleaning up the rooms a few weeks ago, it would be a severe double standard from the community if I was to be rubbed out for this. I’ve even got a biomechanics expert to compare the footage of me picking up those Gatorade bottles and diving on the chewie last Saturday. I’m confident the tribunal will accept my version of events.”