Geelong star Steve Johnson has put the spotlight on Trent Cotchin’s teammates after the Richmond captain became the latest AFL player to be Macaffered.
Apart from Richmond’s woeful performance, the biggest talking point after their 38-point loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night has been the hard tag Brent Macaffer put on Cotchin.
The Magpies midfielder restricted the Tigers star to just 13 disposals, Cotchin’s lowest count in a game since 2010.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick bit his tongue when discussing the physical tactics Macaffer used to keep Cotchin quiet.
Last weekend, Macaffer also kept Johnson to 20 possessions as the Cats beat the Magpies by 11 points.
Johnson said on Sunday that Richmond clearly spoke about Macaffer at halftime, but Cotchin’s teammates didn’t do nearly enough to help him in the second half.
“For the first five or 10 minutes, they came out and really made a real focus of jumping into Macaffer,” he said on Channel Nine’s Footy Show.
“But it only lasted five or 10 minutes, and that would be a little bit disappointing as well for Trent Cotchin.”
The Richmond captain’s frustration was evident in the last term when he tangled with Clinton Young.
That incident will come under video review, as will a bump Nick Maxwell laid on Cotchin.
Johnson said Macaffer was doing a very good job of pushing the rules when he tagged opponents.
“It’s (bordering) on illegal, but if you’re getting away with it … I’d do it as well,” Johnson said.
Cotchin also said he had needed more help from his teammates.
“There were parts where I thought I was being held illegally, but the reality is there are three umpires out there doing the best they can,” Cotchin told Channel Seven’s Game Day.
“The onus is on me to win the footy, but also on my teammates helping me out.”
Meanwhile, fellow Tiger Brett Deledio is back running, but is no closer to knowing when he will return to the AFL.
A flare-up of an achilles tendon-related problem has put Deledio out of action for the last two games.
“I’ve been running for the last couple of days, but I just have to make sure I can pull up all right and get as much strength work into it as I can,” he said.
“Touch wood, I will be out there sooner rather than later.”
Deledio said the problem was not with the achilles tendon, but a smaller tendon next to it.