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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 19 April, 2018

Liam Williams cited for Payne-like mid-air tackle on Alex Cuthbert

The Scarlets fullback was sin binned for his challenge, but may face harsher consequences.

Williams failed to get into the air to compete with Cuthbert.
Williams failed to get into the air to compete with Cuthbert.
Image: Huw Evans/INPHO

SCARLETS FULLBACK LIAM Williams has been cited for “an alleged dangerous tackle” on Alex Cuthbert during his side’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with the Cardiff Blues on Sunday.

The mid-air challenge occurred in the sixth minute of the Blues’ 17-13 victory, with referee Ian Davies deciding at the time that a yellow card was punishment enough. However, the independent Citing Commissioner believes that the incident was “sufficiently dangerous to have warranted a red card” and as such, has cited Williams.

The citing falls under Law 10.4 (e).

Law 10.4 (e): Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

With Jared Payne having recently been red-carded and banned for a similar offence during Ulster’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Saracens, this type of tackle in the air is certainly topical.

Source: RaboDirect PRO12/YouTube

In making his decision to sin bin Williams, rather than show him red, Davies referred to the fact that Cuthbert had landed on his hip. As journalist Andy McGeady underlined on his blog on Sunday, that decision may have been influenced by IRB directives.

Wales international Williams was red carded later in the game after picking up a second yellow, although that incident is irrelevant to this citing.

No date has been set for Williams’ disciplinary hearing yet, with Robin Copeland also awaiting scheduling of his own hearing after a red card against the Scarlets.

What’s your opinion on the Williams tackle? Was it any different to the Payne incident?

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Murray Kinsella

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