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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Scott Williams injures shoulder making big hit on Brian O'Driscoll

Wales centre Scott Williams will undergo surgery today on the injured shoulder that saw him leave the field during his team's 26-3 loss to Ireland on Saturday. Williams injured himself making a huge hit on Brian O'Driscoll, but came off second best.

You've probably seen it already, either watching live or when seeing the match highlights, but here it is again for archiving, and perhaps a bit of discussion about the tackle itself.

Williams timed and read things excellently, but it did appear as though he might have tucked his right arm in, which sometimes indicates there was more shoulder than an attempt to wrap. It was touch and go though, and if it indeed wasn't one hundred percent legal, he received his punishment.

While O'Driscoll took a few moments to recover, Williams left the field a few minutes later, and yesterday it was confirmed that he will miss the rest of the Six Nations. He might be out for even longer than that, according to Scarlets' Simon Easterby.

"He took a major blow to his A/C joint and is under review at the moment," he said. "He is clearly not going to be playing for a number of weeks and won't take any more part in the Six Nations."

Warren Gatland says that Jonathan Davies is still a bit sore after a pectoral injury suffered against South Africa in November. They're still unsure if he'll be able to play against France.

O'Driscoll is currently one cap behind the most capped Test rugby player of all time, George Gregan, who was capped 139 times by the Wallabies. O'Driscoll has only been capped 130 times by Ireland, but has played for the British & Irish Lions 8 times.

Posted at 11:27 am | 41 comments

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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 41 comments

Nick P February 13, 2014 2:28 pm

that's what he gets for messing with BOD. Maybe if they had focused on not giving away penalties instead of taking out a legend then they wouldn't have lost so bad

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MisterDavid February 13, 2014 3:35 pm

In many ways Williams was doing exactly the right thing - trying impose himself on his opposing number at the first opportunity. The irony of coming off worse from a borderline-illegal hit is kinda delicious though.

And by the way, how flipping good was Rory Best's throwing on Saturday? Greatly improved.

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Full Back February 13, 2014 4:37 pm

Borderline illegal? Late tackle, no-arms...I would say completely illegal. You impose yourself by shooting out of the line and dumping your opposite number as soon as the ball comes into his hands. What Williams did was throw in a cheap cowardly shot and I can't say I'm too cut up about him missing out on the rest of the 6 nations.
Just shows how much of a loss Davies is in the backline.

Do Wales have another credible choice at 9 for when Philips brain gets fogged over? I don't think his decision making helped Wales much on the day.

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DrG February 13, 2014 6:36 pm

Oh come off it, I'm not even a Wales fan but how the hell can you call that 'late'? I bet even Superman himself couldn't have pulled out of that tackle!

The arms thing is one of those I am now choosing not to comment on too much seeing as really I don't know what the IRB want from us 'look like you wrap'? Anyway, I can only say his leading side had the arm tucked in which I'm sure is not what the IRB want, the other arm did 'attempt to wrap' though..

I'm with MisterDavid on this, the irony is brilliant!

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matt February 15, 2014 10:02 am

We've discussed this 'wrapping' thing before in quite some detail, so there's not much point going into it. But, it does sort of seem to me that if a player ends up hurting themselves in a borderline tackle and not the 'victim', then their tackle probably wasn't a dangerous shoulder charge.

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Full Back February 15, 2014 10:10 am

I stand corrected on the timing, but I don't follow your logic on the injury. If he had thrown himself in and wrapped up he was less likely to hurt himself I reckon.

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matt February 15, 2014 11:18 am

Sorry, my logic was that shoulder charges, or a lack of 'wrapping', is an offence because it allows the tackler to lock their body into a single rigid piece. This means that there is no give whatsoever in the tackle and it is dangerous for the attacker.
So my very broad theory is that if Williams managed to damage his own shoulder, he wasn't locked up in the way that the rule aims to prevent.
It goes without saying that this is a very superficial type of test, but I think it helps get to the real issue.

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Full Back February 15, 2014 1:31 pm

I think the rule isn't so much about "locking" as such, but if you hit with the point of the shoulder rather than an open shoulder there's more chance of injury for the tackled player. The risk for the person charging in is that the impact can damage your acl...given that Williams needs surgery this seems likely. If you want to see if someone is attempting to wrap or not you just need to see where their hands are positioned.

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flanker2712 February 14, 2014 1:28 pm

Best has thrown very well during the first two games, especially Saturday. Further evidence that last year was a dip in form. I think having Toner, O'Connell and O'Mahony in the lineout helps a great deal.

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stroudos February 14, 2014 2:33 pm

@MisterDavid - totally agree in principle. I always try to observe the mantra "Get your first tackle in early, even if it's late".

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Eddie-g February 13, 2014 4:36 pm

Eh, marginal. One of those which could have been penalised but no issues with the ref's decision.

It's another incident though that if sent to a TMO, and watched in slo-mo, I'm sure would have seen Williams penalised. I wonder if there's a case for saying only try-scoring decisions, where you are looking at feet in touch etc, may be reviewed in slo-mo. Some of the other biff and handbags that TMOs can be asked to review, you get a better sense of what went on when you watch in real-time.

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Eddie-g February 13, 2014 4:48 pm

@Full Back -

You call that a late tackle? Are you on drugs?

It was good work by BOD to get the pass away, but timing-wise, nothing wrong with the tackle. The issue is whether he made an effort to wrap his arms, and people's mileage may vary on this point. Certainly not a glaring ref error in my book.

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Full Back February 13, 2014 6:01 pm

No I'm not on drugs, maybe that's why I don't see the connection between "mileage" and eyesight.
Fair enough on the timing, I had remembered it being a split second later, but all you have to do is watch it and you'll see there was no attempt to wrap at all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he should be cited or anything, but I think it's a bit of poetic justice that he hurt himself.

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Ronan February 13, 2014 5:00 pm

Aint karma a bitch!!!
Wales have had that match coming for a while....

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Andrew February 13, 2014 5:51 pm

Yawn! Bring on the best Rugb tournament by far, the SH Rugby Championship!

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ncharlton0119 February 13, 2014 10:07 pm

Totally agree with you. I can't wait for tomorrow. SH rugby just seems a lot more exciting.

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Paolo February 17, 2014 3:41 pm

Watched the Lions versus the Cheetahs match. It was crap and, even though it was played in near perfect conditions, not a patch on a HEC match. The handling errors were astonishing and the general lack of creativity was depressing. If that is Super Rugby then you are welcome to it.

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Steff T February 13, 2014 5:53 pm

Perfectly timed tackle and completely legal. He obviously attempted to wrap his arms around BOD however the hit was so intense it would be impossible to completely wrap his arms around. It's quite disgusting seeing 'rugby 'fans' celebrate over a player suffering an injury when all he did was show passion by trying to impose his opposite number early on. If BOD made that hit everyone would be screaming from the rooftops on how amazing the tackle was. Double standards!

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Full Back February 13, 2014 6:05 pm

how can you say he obviously attempted to wrap??? Look where his hands are on impact.

As for the double standards I reckon you're way off, the fact is that BOD's standard of tackling is generally above what we've just seen on this video. That's part of why he has the reputation he has, his defence is on par with his attack.

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Mastersa February 13, 2014 8:49 pm

Sorry Steff T, it was a shoulder charge. His right arm was on his own stomach. Nothing wrong with timing, just quick hands from BOD. There is a lot of crap and lamenting going on right now about BOD but fullback is right. He just does not do that sort of thing and still manages to impose himself on the opposition.

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Wesley February 13, 2014 5:56 pm

Borderline?? It was illegal full stop. Shoulder charge with no intention to wrap. Read a book pal.

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themull February 13, 2014 6:18 pm

wasn't late but he did not make any attempt to wrap..His hands are almost by his side..No problem seeing these kinds of things go however because if it had have been called for it he probably would've gotten a yellow from Barnes and a yellow is too much for it...

He tried to set the tone for his team, no harm in that..He just happened to come off second best in the long run this time..

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Owen February 13, 2014 6:23 pm

If it was such a bad tackle, or a shoulder charge as you say, surely the ref would've picked up on it? He reviewed it, nothing came of it. Commentators said nothing, citing commissioner hasn't said a word. Only the one eyed fans seem to think its a shoulder charge.

http://www.rugbydump.com/2011/02/1837/maa-nonu-big-shoulder-on-jimmy-cowan-results-in-red-card

Now then 'rugby fans', there's a shoulder charge for you!

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Mastersa February 13, 2014 8:56 pm

In fairness Barnes and line missed quite a bit that day. Not his best day at the office.

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Full Back February 15, 2014 10:14 am

Hate to be cynica, but I reckon if it had been BoD that came out injured instead of Williams he probably would have been cited. Seeing as he's already going to be out for a couple of months and may need surgery they've decided to leave him alone. It wouldn't be the first time we've seen guys cited because of injuries inflicted.
Showing a worse shoulder charge doesn't mean that this guy was trying to wrap all of a sudden.

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DrG February 13, 2014 6:39 pm

I didn't enjoy seeing another player get injured, however there was something about the fact that BOD ends up on his backside, yet the guy that did it goes off injured.

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Facepalm February 13, 2014 10:45 pm

Courtney Lawes must be sleeping easier with this news.

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stroudos February 14, 2014 1:24 pm

@Facepalm - sorry mate, can you explain the Courtney Lawes comment? I don't get it.
Unless you mean the lack of a citing gives him carte blanche to slice through players, with dubious technique?

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cheg February 14, 2014 9:52 pm

I think he is referring to when Scott Williams ripped the ball from Lawes' grasp in the dying minutes denying England the win.

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stroudos February 14, 2014 11:22 pm

Aha!! I'd completely forgotten about that!
Nice one

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hedderball February 13, 2014 10:46 pm

I coach the kids down at our club and that kind of thing is a terrible example to them. Not only is it dangerous for the player being tackled but it's also dangerous for the tackler too. It's clearly a shoulder charge and can't believe he wasn't cited for it. I don't think the fact he's been injured should mean he gets let off from a ban. IRB should set an example.

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Canadian content February 13, 2014 11:04 pm

Completely agree, people are starting to lose sight of the main issue with this tackle, it's extremely dangerous and actually did end up with someone getting seriously hurt, in this case the tackler. If it isn't illegal, it should be, otherwise, we will see our great game morph even more into a NFL/ league style spectacle of huge hits, huge injuries and more fresh meat to fill the spot. Not too sound too much like the Reverend Lovejoy's wife, but "won't somebody think of the children?"

Kids do watch this stuff and if they think it's cool, they'll try to emulate it during their games and get seriously injured or do so to others.

Can't really blame Williams because he is just doing what he's coached to do and what is expected of him, especially by Gatland. Wales, no country, can last playing this way, they are now down their top two 13's.

I played this way too, thought it was great and now know it was far from it. Hope Williams recovers and learns his lesson

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DrG February 14, 2014 1:33 pm

Actually hedderball, I'd have thought this serves as a BRILLIANT example to them...

The player you clatter gets up and carries on playing (very well I might add) and you end up looking like a bit of a tool and going off injured, only to find out what you thought was a minor injury has now kept you off for a lengthy period of time and landed you on RD with a somewhat embarrassing video...

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stroudos February 14, 2014 1:31 pm

I love the roar that goes up when BOD gets to his feet. Imagine being BOD, must be awesome to have that many thousands of people all cheering wildly for you.

Didn't realise he'd won quite so many caps. Awesome. So he'll equal Gregan's record against England then - look forward to that although I do hope England can piss on his parade.

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MisterDavid February 14, 2014 4:55 pm

Yeah, I hope he'll get a guard of honour - his last game at HQ, and record-equalling too. There's never a wrong time to show respect for a true great.

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Full Back February 15, 2014 10:18 am

Aw come on Stroudos, I was just starting to like you :D
I reckon if Ireland can take twickers they'll get the slam.

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Phil mc avity February 16, 2014 8:36 pm

Gunna be shit hard now that cole is out

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ahrefuronlyabollix February 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Definitely a hit to take out O'Driscoll, technically was probably illegal but so what, ref didn't call it. If you also take into account, Williams replacement oh yeah another Williams' cheap shot on Paddy Jackson after he touched down for his try and also the way Mike Phillips reacted basically sums up Wales's attempt to intimidate Ireland which no doubt was from instructions coming all the way from Gatland. Strategy back-fired and only served to give Ireland a good physical contest in ready for what will be no doubt an even more brutal contest against Engerland. Bring it on...

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Full Back February 15, 2014 10:20 am

great name ^^^ especially when I think of Barnes

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ahrefuronlyabollix February 15, 2014 11:03 am

On a level of knobness, he's way up there.

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