Nigel Owens gives his verdict on Liam Williams yellow card
By Rugby Onslaught

Nigel Owens gives his verdict on Liam Williams yellow card

Though there was clear shoulder to head contact by Wales Liam Williams on Ireland’s Johnny Sexton on Saturday in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations, the matter is not necessarily black and white.

The Welsh fullback was shown yellow by referee Karl Dickson, but plenty have accused Sexton of basically charging into his shoulder with his head, not helped by his cheeky wink after his opponent was dismissed. Wales were starting to build momentum at that point in the game, helped by a try by Williams, so this was quite a crucial moment in the match.

Well Nigel Owens has had his say on the incident, and whether a yellow card was the right call. He said:

“Now, the clear messages that we’ve been trying to get players to do is to make an attempt to tackle lower. So Liam Williams makes an upright tackle, now at the moment there’s nothing illegal in that, it has all to do then if there is a high degree of danger or if there is recklessness or if there is foul play and contact to the head or the neck area.

“So, this is not a red card, let’s get that very clear, because it was a low degree of danger as you heard the referee quite clearly, and well explained as well. Sexton is carrying the ball and then goes lower and his head then is leading into Liam Williams as well. So because of that, because Liam Williams does not lead with the shoulder, although there is contact with the head, there is no red card and it mitigates down to a yellow.

“Now some people are saying that a yellow is a bit harsh- maybe it is, but the clear message is ‘get your tackles lower, don’t run that risk.’ So, this is a yellow card, or maybe would have been a penalty on another day, but a yellow card is certainly not the wrong decision.”

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