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Gilroy cited for 'the tackle everyone is trying to get away from'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Paul Devlin/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Ireland winger Craig Gilroy escaped with just a yellow card for a high tackle during last Friday night’s United Rugby Championship win by Ulster, but the controversy the incident ignited online following the game versus Scarlets has now resulted in the soon-to-be 31-year-old getting cited.

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Ulster won the match 27-15, with Gilroy going on to score their bonus-point earning fourth try, but many felt the home side should have been playing with 14-men following the ugly incident during which the neck of Scarlets’ Thomas Rogers snapped back violently due to the impact of Gilroy’s shoulder to the head on the visiting Welsh player.  

Ex-internationals Tom Shanklin and Rob Kearney, who were on Premier Sports punditry for the match, couldn’t fathom the lenient decision made by Jaco Peyper, the South African official who was on duty in Belfast as a warm-up ahead of refereeing next Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales in Dublin.

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“That is the tackle that I think everyone is trying to get away from,” said Shanklin. “Gilroy is not even looking where he is going. He has led with the shoulder, the arm is down. He is very lucky to get a yellow card as that is quite a bad tackle. It definitely should have been a red card.”

Ex-Ireland full-back Kearney agree with the former Wales midfielder. “There is so much force to the head there. You see the whiplash, the impact. If we’re talking about trying to make the game safer, protecting the opposition player… for force to the head with that much power and intent.

A URC statement read: “Craig Gilroy of Ulster has been cited for an incident that occurred in the 22nd minute of the United Rugby Championship round 11 fixture at Kingspan Stadium against Scarlets on Friday, January 28. The citing commissioner in charge has made a complaint about an act of foul play by Gilroy (No14) against opponent Thomas Rogers (No14).

“The player has been cited under law 9.13 – A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. Arrangements for the disciplinary process are currently in progress and will be announced in due course.”

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mitch 1 hours ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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