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'Accepted the charge': Davies cited for Premiership final yellow

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Saracens scrum-half Aled Davies is to face further action over his much-debated shoulder-to-head tackle on Leicester hooker Julian Montoya in last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham. A huge amount of criticism was levelled at referee Wayne Barnes for his decision to only yellow card the half-back for an illegal 25th-minute tackle that appeared to very much warrant a red card.

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As it was, the temporary expulsion of Davies was significant as Leicester, who had been losing 0-3 and had just lost George Ford to a game-ending injury, crucially struck for their two tries during the absence of the Welshman.

Those scores from South African duo Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese were critical to the result, Leicester clinching their 15-12 win with a dramatic last-gasp Freddie Burns drop goal with the contest poised to go into extra time.

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Despite the Leicester win, there was much comment in the aftermath regarding the Davies collision with Montoya and how similar types of incidents all season in the Premiership had resulted in red cards being shown.

However, the yellow card decision won’t now be the end of the matter as Davies has been cited and will have a case to answer. An RFU statement on Wednesday read: “The case of Saracens player Aled Davies will be heard by on papers by an independent disciplinary panel. The date for the hearing is to be confirmed.

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“Davies was cited for dangerous tackling contrary to World Rugby law 9.13, or in the alternative law 9.11, for making direct contact to the head with his shoulder during the Premiership Final against Leicester Tigers on Saturday. Davies has accepted the charge.”

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Former England out-half and current RugbyPass columnist Andy Goode was among those to criticise the yellow card-only decision, tweeting: “Shoulder to the head and Montoya’s head jolts backwards. Not sure how that’s not a red card but I think because it’s a final they are trying not to give one.”

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