Lance Franklin and Trent Cotchin were both accused of acting poorly but Eddie McGuire had a bigger issue with lawyers in the room.
Eddie McGuire has taken aim at the legal representatives for Lance Franklin and the AFL after the Swans star’s one-match ban for striking Trent Cotchin was upheld on Wednesday night.
Sydney was contesting the suspension lumped on Franklin for an incident during his side’s thrilling win over Richmond last Friday but failed to have the original decision overturned.
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Duncan Miller, who was representing Franklin, said Cotchin’s reaction to being struck was “somewhat exaggerated” and added: “I’m tempted to say he might be invited to the Logies and not the Brownlow this year.
“The exaggerated head movement back and the rest of the pictures show exactly what it was — there’s a wry smile on Mr Cotchin’s face.”
AFL counsel Andrew Woods said Franklin’s act was “brazen” and “cowardly” and “the opposing player isn’t expecting that to happen to him”.
“It’s AFL, not Fight Club or a combat sport,” Mr Woods added.
McGuire took issue with the way both legal counsels conducted themselves during the hearing.
“I’d counter that by saying it was actually Cotchin who stopped and instigated the contact,” McGuire told Footy Classified in response to Mr Woods’ claims.
“Can I say to the AFL counsel Andrew Woods, mate, pull up, that is way out of odds. To call a player a coward and a cowardly act is almost defamatory.”
The former Collingwood president also criticized Mr Miller’s accusation against Cotchin of staging, saying: “I don’t know if you’ve been pushed in the head by Buddy Franklin.
“They (Cotchin and Franklin) are two of the best people in football as far as their reputations.
“An allegation from a QC of a cowardly act and another (for staging) … please. QCs, enough.”
Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon also said the quips were not a good look.
“They (the lawyers) may feel good about that but I think it’s out of line,” he told Footy Classified.
“Trent Cotchin, he threw himself in front of a raging freight train in Lance Franklin.
“I think it’s flippant, I think it’s unnecessary.”
Asked during the hearing if he meant to strike Cotchin high, Franklin replied: “Absolutely not.
“No way would I ever do that.
“It’s not in the spirit of the game – I definitely wouldn’t have done it.”
Franklin will miss Sydney’s next game against Melbourne on Saturday night.
Originally published as Eddie McGuire slams lawyers over ‘cowardly act’ claim in Lance Franklin hearing