Scotland No.8 Matt Fagerson has refused to pull any punches in delivering his take on the red shown to his brother Zander in Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations.
Zander was given a highly contentious red card for connecting with the head of Welsh prop Wyn Jones when ‘recklessly’ entering a ruck. The red card would prove pivotal in the game, with Wales rallying back and winning a match that they had been losing up until that point.
The loss came after Scotland’s titanic Calcutta Cup triumph in Twickenham had given Gregor Townsend’s men hope of a Six Nations run and left a bitter taste in Scottish mouths. The tighthead went on to receive a four-game ban, which he appealed but ultimately lost.
Now, in an explosive interview with Tom English in Rugby World magazine the younger Fagerson has branded Welsh prop Wyn Jones’ behaviour as ‘pathetic’ and called into question the actions of Liam Williams.
— Rugby World (@Rugbyworldmag) March 10, 2021
“By the letter of the law that is a red. There is probably a few more in the game but that is the one they picked up on. There has to be some common sense when it comes to the disciplinary process, though,” Fagerson told Rugby World. “They want players to see the error of their ways and not repeat it, and fair enough, but it’s an accidental clearout.”
“If Wyn Jones doesn’t roll around on the floor… that was pathetic. He appeals to the ref, got nothing and then stayed on the floor.
The hard carrying Glasgow No.8 now fears his brother could miss out on a Lions tour as a result of the sanction which will see him miss Scotland’s match with Ireland this weekend.
“He’s up there with Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Porter and I think the Ireland game would have been a massive opportunity to showcase what he does in terms of possible Lions selection.
“I’ve heard legends of the game like Brian O’Driscoll and Stephen Ferris questioning the punishment and then talking about what it might mean for Zander’s Lions chances. It’s serious stuff.”
Fagerson also pointed out that Wales fullback Liam Williams could easily have copped a red card and suggests that what players want is consistency when it comes to how cards are deployed.
“I’m not one to dwell on Zander’s red card but you have Liam Williams with a forearm to the head of James Lang earlier in the game. I got a three-week ban and a red card for that in a PRO14 game once. You don’t want to be seeing red cards but it’s the inconsistency.
“No disrespect to Wales but they were nothing special, they weren’t stressing us in any area. Louis Rees-Zammit was awesome but even at the end we had an opportunity to win.”
While the interview was conducted closer to the time of the incident, when emotions were high, it has certainly raised eyebrows online among Welsh fans.
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