Welsh winger Liam Williams has been described as ‘lucky’ by Scottish fans after escaping any on-field review following an incident in the first half as referees crack down on high contact incidents.
For the second week in a row, an opposing player was red carded for a dangerous clean out with high contact that provided Wales a one-man advantage for large periods of the match. After Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony was sent from the field early last week, Scotland prop Zander Fagerson was sent from the field with 30 minutes to go at Murrayfield.
In light of the scrutiny being placed on dangerous contacts, Scotland fans feel aggrieved that Liam Williams’ actions weren’t looked at after the whistle had blown.
Wales were down 17-3 at the time and had just received a penalty with play blown dead, Williams had picked up a loose pass and ran into contact with a high elbow, shrugging to push the defender off.
Without a review of the incident, Wales were able to strike just before halftime, crucially closing the gap to 17-8 before the halftime break.
— Martin Dempsey (@martindempseyyy) February 13, 2021
Just seen the Liam Williams video, leading with elbow. Can only hope he gets cited and dealt with.
— Craig Dalrymple (@cragdoo) February 13, 2021
And there we go Liam Williams just elbows him in the face. That is ignored and our one isn't.
Just for the love of god get rid of the thing
— GP (@gordonp93) February 13, 2021
Liam Williams leads with an elbow no red Zander takes a man out when Hogg lifts him up and out Red card. Walkers.
— Richard Carmichael (@RichyCee93) February 13, 2021
I get that referees have been told to clamp down on contact with the head, but that Scotland red card is the only reason Wales won.
Referees are going to ruin games if this carries on.
Also, Liam Williams having two goes at elbowing a tackler in the face but gets nothing?
— Enough Of That Now (@AndyGilder) February 13, 2021
Does Liam Williams just lead with the forearm all the time?! #SCOvWAL
— Derek Paterson (@delpaterson) February 13, 2021
Just wish they’d be consistent and look at Liam Williams elbow to the head
— Iain C (@clarkeykatt) February 13, 2021
Disgraceful officiating from the first games of round 2. Appalling decision of a red card for Fagerson yet turning a blind eye to leading with forearms and misconduct from the ever-ratty Liam Williams. This standard of refereeing shouldn’t be tolerated. #SCOvWAL #SixNations
— One Man Chatting (@OneManChatting) February 13, 2021
Liam Williams lucky to not have had a yellow , still too close for comfort . Not over impressed but better than we have been , sometimes luck is what we need to kickstart .
— Gareth Jacob (@Garethwjacob18) February 13, 2021
Have a look at Liam Williams leading with the forearm to the head. Wasn’t even looked at by the ref.
— Cath ??????? (@rugbycath) February 13, 2021
and Liam Williams arm completely missed!!!! at 17-3 #bigdecisions
— Laurie MacKinnon (@Lozmeister15) February 13, 2021
Liam Williams should have had a red card today. TMO surprisingly didn’t call it back tho
— L (@LightYagamiLFC) February 13, 2021
Liam Williams may be in trouble.
— Tim O’Connor (@timoconnorbl) February 13, 2021
Seeing a lot of chat about Liam Williams getting away with an ‘elbow to the face’ and well… here’s a more definitive angle.
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) February 13, 2021
Scotland fans were adamant that at least a yellow was in order, with a few going as far as saying a game-changing red card could have been issued.
Liam Williams has courted controversy recently with similar incidents. Against Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup a ‘missile clean out’ by Williams at a ruck connected with an Italian’s players head, forcing him from the field.
Williams had just returned from a three match ban after receiving a red card for Scarlets for another dangerous clean out, where he led with the crown of his head into another player’s head. The fullback came under fire for backchatting to the referee after receiving his marching orders, saying ‘we’ll start playing touch’.
Williams presence on the field later came back to haunt Scotland, as he delivered the final pass to set-up Louis Rees-Zammit’s first try before halftime and then scored one himself in the second half on route to a 25-24 victory.
Wales’ one-point win thrusts the side into contention for a Six Nations title and a Grand Slam, despite heading into the tournament on a year-long losing streak and new head coach Wayne Pivac under fire.
With two wins from two outings, Wales head into next week’s pivotal clash against England as one of two remaining undefeated sides along with France, who play Ireland on Sunday.
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