Ulster number eight Nick Williams has been cited for striking Cardiff Blues back Rhys Patchell during their Guinness Pro12 match in Belfast on Friday. Williams was yellow carded, but many have been angered by the incident, feeling it should have been red.
Flyhalf Patchell spent the night in hospital after being carried off on a stretcher following treatment for 10 minutes from the forearm blow. He was treated amid fears of a bad concussion.
The massive New Zealander has since been cited for Law 10.4 (a) – Punching/striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee.
Cardiff Blues coach Dale McIntosh said after that match that a red card was in order.
“A forearm to the head? It should be a red card. I’ve done it enough, I should know,” he said.
Former Ireland centre Maurice Field said that while the result was severe, “It was not a forearm smash”. He went on to tell BBC Northern Ireland that Williams had executed a reckless challenge.
“Patchell is unfortunate – full-backs do not usually find themselves in those ruck situations. Nick Williams is a physical guy, that is the nature of his game,” he added.
Ulster went on to win the match 36-17. You can view the incident below in a quick clip from the highlights wrap. We’ll have more from the Pro12 soon.
Should this have been a red card, or was it merely a clumsy effort at cleaning out a player?