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'Long ban' predicted after ugly targeting of young fly-half

By Ian Cameron
Jack Walsh was repeatedly singled out for late hits.

A long ban has been predicted after the questionable targeting of Ospreys fly-half Jack Walsh in the United Rugby Championship match against the Dragons over the weekend.

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Walsh, who had been playing exceptionally well, was repeatedly hit with late and cheap shots from several Dragons players throughout the game.

Despite the Dragons’ best efforts to take down the young No.10, the Ospreys ultimately emerged victorious with an 18-37 derby win. However, the victory was overshadowed by the ugly conduct of the Dragons players towards Walsh.

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Targeting the fly-half in rugby is nothing new but the treatment doled out to Walsh has left a sour taste in many mouths.

Dragons No.8 Ross Moriarty was given a yellow card in the 32nd minute for a late shoulder charge on Walsh. But the worst was yet to come, as centre Sio Tomkinson was red-carded only minutes into the second half for his vicious cheap shot on Walsh.

Commentators have expressed their outrage at the Dragons’ behavior and are calling for strict action to be taken against the players involved. James Hook on Scrum V is predicting that Tomkinson, in particular, is facing a lengthy ban for his actions.

“Discipline, we spoke about it, that should have been a yellow card for Fairbrother, Ross Moriarty got yellow carded for that,” said Hook. “Every one of these was on Jack Walsh. This one, this was a red card. Stone-cold red card.

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“He’s come from five, 10 metres Tomkinson and he’s taken his head off. There’s no qualms about that. He’ll probably have a long ban for that as well.”

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