Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has backtracked on comments he made in the immediate aftermath of Scotland’s loss to Wales at the weekend, in which he rubbished a decision to red card Scotland tighthead Zander Fagerson.
A controversial red card for Fagerson tipped the balance of the game in favour of Wales for the second weekend in a row, and Watson’s immediate reaction was to slam the ‘dreadful’ call.
Fagerson became the third Scot to be sent off in the history of the Six Nations and there was a considerable backlash on social media about the decision by Referee Matthew Carly, who appeared to go against the advice of his TMO, Karl Dickson, who recommended a yellow card.
“Zander will be fine. That was a rubbish call. An absolutely dreadful call. That’s not rugby, that call,” Watson said in a press conference following the match. “Zander is absolutely fine. We’ve already got round him. He’s a great player and a big part of everything we do with Scotland. He can hold his head high, I think.
“We lost that game in the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 of the second. We lost that game when we had 15 on the field. Z has nothing to worry about.”
Watson added: “I haven’t heard the comms from the TV but I’ve heard from other people that the TMO said it wasn’t a red, then the ref has overruled him. “The ref has the right to do that if he thinks that’s the right call.”
Watson, who has had an outstanding Six Nations, has now backtracked on what he has branded an emotional outburst.
“Poor comments from me, emotions were very high after losing a very tight match. Players’ health is paramount,” Watson posted on Twitter underneath a video of the interview.
Poor comments from me, emotions were very high after losing a very tight match. Players health is paramount.
— Hamish Watson (@hamishwatson7) February 15, 2021
Watson wasn’t the only one top question the call, with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend suggesting that the officials may have been hasty in reaching their decision.
“I didn’t think they (officials) had much of a discussion and I didn’t think they showed enough of the angles,” Townsend said. “They showed one slow motion angle to begin with, then took ages to find another one.
“The TMO (television match official) did say that, because of the player’s late movement, you should make sure there is no mitigation there, but I thought the whole process could have been much better.
“It is obviously very serious when someone gets a red card and it just felt that there wasn’t the right angles or a proper discussion. There was a discussion between the team of three when they were waiting for the angles and they seemed to make their mind up then.”
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