Monday, February 14, 2011
While the Scotland vs Wales game at Murrayfield was a rather dull affair, there were however one or two moments that are worth watching again. This is one that will surely spark debate, as Hugo Southwells reckless challenge went unpunished.
Its a tricky one to judge as Southwell took a boot to the face from his challenge on Wales fullback Lee Byrne, resulting in a nasty looking gash and a premature exit from the game. While the challenge was dangerous, he was not yellow carded, with referee George Clancy perhaps sympathising with the fact that the injury was punishment enough.
Two years ago an almost identical incident occurred in the same fixture when Geoff Cross was up against the same player, fullback Byrne. He too came off second best, knocking himself unconscious in the process. Referee Alain Rolland issued the card nevertheless, despite him being driven off on a stretcher.
While in many ways on this occasion Southwell did receive some form of punishment, is there still room for refs to make those type of emotional calls Perhaps it was admirable, but it looked incorrect as Byrne could have horribly. By all means if his boot wasnt out, he might have.
Which brings up another question to ponder should players, most often fullbacks under the high ball, be allowed to lead with their boot so far out in that fashion? It is one of the perks of the job, or should the technique be looked at and possibly outlawed?
Whatever the case, it was a nasty incident that resulted in Southwell receiving stitches for the self-inflicted facial lacerations. Opinions on this incident will vary, so please share yours.
Wales get much needed win over Scotland at Murrayfield
Geoff Cross knocked out in Lee Byrne collision (2009)