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Thursday Apr 2, 2015

Ulster's Nick Williams suspended for 8 weeks for striking Rhys Patchell

Ulster's Nick Williams suspended for 8 weeks for striking Rhys Patchell
14
Comments

Ulster number eight Nick Williams has been banned for 8 weeks following the incident that took place in the Guinness PRO12 match between Ulster and Cardiff Blues at the weekend. Patchell was knocked out as a result, so a citing and hearing followed, with all details below.

Williams appeared on Thursday before an independent PRO12 Rugby Disciplinary Committee, following a citing for striking an opponent, under Law 10.4(a): Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Roger Morris (Wales) along with Rhian Williams (Wales) and John Doubleday (England), having viewed footage of the incident and listened to representations made by and on behalf of the player, found that the incident was at the top end of the World Rugby sanctions for this type of offence, meriting a 16 week starting point.

In the absence of any aggravating factors and in light of several mitigating factors, including the player’s exemplary previous playing record, the Disciplinary Committee applied a 8 week reduction from the entry point and suspended the player from playing for 8 weeks.

Taking into account the matches remaining this season, and two warm up matches scheduled for the start of next season, Nick Williams is free to resume playing from Monday, 1 September 2015 and has the right of appeal.

You can view the incident below, and original post about it here

14 Comments

  • drg
    4:47 PM 07/04/2015

    But I disagree with the laws for amateurs... amongst laws there are crossing rules, there are knock on rules, accidental offsides, offsides etc... If every amateur game was adhered to, the game would die out. Surely you've had those referees that blow for everything and those that equally allow the game to flow? To counter your criminal law point and it's relation to rugby. You can stand over a body with a smoking gun and you'll get arrested on suspicion of murder - red card... You'll be interviewed - video angles, pundits, citing commissioners.. you'll then be charged - in rugby this would be a citing... you then get to stand in front of a court - or disciplinary panel... The court will hear all the evidence and may indeed decide that whilst you did not want to murder someone, you did indeed kill them, maybe it was in self defence, but should you have been carrying the gun? No? Well then, not murder, but manslaughter - therefore not deliberate act of foul play, but reckless... My argument was not I don't want to see players injured in later life, it's that I don't want to see someone ending up in a wheel chair through what is deemed illegal play. Someone a while ago sent you a link about a stamp on Dodie Weirs knee which took him out of the Lions tour - Illegal act and the poor bloke had a career damaging injury. Scrums can cause injury, as can innocuous tackles - Thom Evans broke his neck in a non event sort of incident. So dangers are out there in normal play, but the point should be to limit the dangers out there as best they can. I think all of us will have niggles in the future from rugby (if not already) purely down to the nature of the game, it can be expected. Most motorcyclists have a story of at least one time they've fallen off... we've all got a twinge, pull, break story of our own. I'd like to think thats the extent, last thing I want is to be kicked in the face, poleaxed etc etc.. those aren't part of the game I signed up for..

    Reply
  • drg
    10:25 PM 05/04/2015

    Phill, I second what Dan has said, it boils down to issues with lack of consistency. For the record, my use of the word 'crime' was purely because our guidelines are 'laws'... anyway, back on topic.. In criminal law there is commonly two parts, Mens rea and Actus reus - basically, guilty mind, guilty act. The fact is in rugby mens rea doesn't particularly matter when it comes down to whether an incident is worthy of: nothing, penalty, yellow, red... it's the action. In recent games we've seen Du Plessis kick another player in the head area... it doesn't matter if he meant to, if he injured the player... it actually happened... I have to actually explain however that I am not stuck by the letter of the law. I think Du Plessis did deserve a red for losing his head and kicking. However Nathan Hines back handed a welsh player who was holding onto him and received a card, I disagree with that, it also happened to POC and many others... You mentioned 'pole axing' and McCaw... Tiquiri DIDN'T get a red (did he even get a card?)... you're right though, it could have broken McCaws neck... isn't it worth stepping back and saying 'Gladiotorial sport or not, I don't want to see players ruined, crippled, or dead if something can be helped.'....as for Francois Steyn he had to be the one that got punished - If you take any of the other players out of the equation, the tackle may or may not have ended badly... but take Steyn out, and it would definitely NOT have ended badly.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:19 PM 05/04/2015

    I agree completely Phill about the problem with the citing process. There also isn't consistency across the board, leading to certain players, teams and nationalities being unfairly penalised at times. I agree with DrG about yellow cards for professional fouls like trips. When you refer to a sending off do you only mean red cards, or would you issue a yellow for tripping?

    Reply
  • drg
    9:49 AM 05/04/2015

    Your post to me was still a little cryptic Phill, you've sort of burst on the scene and used references that the rest of us have never heard before... Anyway, I'm still a little lost "The Du Plesis incident sin Bin at most. Do you think Elliot was worth a send off?". Firstly I'd love to know what you view as red card worthy? Secondly, I have no idea who Elliot is? If you can post a video I'll pass judgement. I don't know if you feel as if we're stuck between the tram lines and are unable to waver our opinions - in reality my opinion varies greatly on incident to incident. This years 6 nations has had multiple yellow cards for players clashing in the air whilst competing for the ball... that to me is unacceptable, two players compete for the ball, one wins, then the other should not get 10 minutes for having the guts/balls to try and jump. I also find it interesting that in your reply to Dan you've written: "you who has entrenched views especially on foul, dangerous or reckless play" - you're referring to these incidents as foul, dangerous or reckless.... is that for our benefit? I can attempt to give scenarios to these words if you wish, of course they are one dimensional, if I were to address every aspect I'd be here all day; who am I kidding... I normally am! Foul - A player is wrong footed and instead sticks his leg out to trip the ball carrier. - I'd issue a yellow here. Yes it's a 'big boys tough sport' but it's a cynical foul, there was no need for it. Dangerous - picking up a player and driving them neck first into the ground - I'd issue a red here. It's a tough sport and accidents may happen, but putting players in positions like that - whether intentionally or otherwise, is not a good idea. Reckless - I'd say Scott Murray many moons ago was late tackled by a Welsh player, he kicked behind him and caught the Welsh players head, he received a red, you could see he was heartbroken, he had no intention to injure or hit the guys head.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:52 AM 05/04/2015

    I don't have a problem with different points of view and these last two posts have been genuinely interesting. I completely agree with your comment about the grand final last year being the worst incident. I'm delighted you have identified me as upper class. Carsons was up all night writing that post and he'll be delighted. I really can't explain clearly enough how my issue isn't about your view on the game. You must stop thinking that you are the only one here who believes the game should be played that way. I don't agree with you, and that's fine. Your last two posts have been much better because they are detailed and explain what you mean.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    10:52 PM 04/04/2015

    It's a gladiatorial sport. Give them swords, tridents, nets and let them hack each other to death. I'd watch that. The game has got more physical since I first started watching it and so player welfare has become more of an issue. You complain that we overlook your points. To be fair you write like a child. You have poor grammar (genuinely, please stop putting a space before commas), your sentences sometimes need to be read twice over before they make sense, and you use strange "sarcastic" references which are cryptic at best. You flit between trolling and genuine comments. I would say that you are somewhere below the general RugbyDump standard, but somewhere above Youtube. Maybe Facebook is about right. If you want to be taken seriously, write seriously. I take pride in the fact that I am the only person on RugbyDump who posts under his own name and his own picture. I'm not remotely ashamed of my views and I am happy to engage in serious dialogue to defend them. You should have seen a lot of the early disagreements I had with DrG. We massively disagree on a lot of things, but there is a healthy respect there. That respect is earned over time by repeatedly engaging sensibly in constructive debate. As yet you have not earned that respect. You are assuming that the negative response to your views is because you are a lone view in the wilderness. There are many people here who would agree with much of what you say, but the way in which you say it is below the standards which we have come to expect and enjoy here.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:28 PM 04/04/2015

    Phill, since before rugby went completely professional, player welfare was still considered. http://therugbyhistorysociety.co.uk/rc1.html Check that out... There are things which we have come to accept as dangerous and unnacceptable... you ask Dan 'how far do we go'? As far as the current laws take us... Is punching someone in the face a rugby 'crime'? If no, then I suppose we're not going to get very far conversing... If the answer to that is yes it is, then is disguising an obvious punch also a crime? Thats where it boils down to referees using their judgement. If you don't want to have referees interpret the game and the laws, then you need to take things even further into the future where the game is judged by a robot and we have as many breaks as NFL does. Every play has to be scrutinised and judged. I've asked you a few times now about the Du Plessis incident.. what is your answer? No punishment? Penalty? Yellow? Red? Does your attitude also apply to incidents that happen TO NZ players?

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:07 PM 04/04/2015

    Admittedly my posts aren't usually all that constructive, I can be tempted into a more detailed effort from time to time. I'm the new namby-pamby type that you clearly despise. I think that now that these players are bigger than ever they should be protected more than ever. In every major physical sport I can think of player welfare has become more of an issue as we learn more and more about the long-term impacts. The NFL, NRL and UK RL and RU are all good examples. I think why DrG and others, such as myself, have found you unhelpful is that you have made some bizarre references to food groups in, what I can only assume, is an attempt to create a bizarre parody of our views. At the same time DrG does tend to get a bit excitable and clearly him telling you to go forth and multiply wasn't helpful. Length of service on RD means nothing. You can rock up overnight and be welcomed in - you'll see me making much that comment elsewhere on this site to others. It's just that your comments haven't tended to add much generally, although you have made some great points. Lastly I don't want you to think that my criticism of you is a criticism of a physical playing style. I love watching it. I just want a style where needless risk is avoided by enforcing rules which have been enacted due to increased knowledge of physical risks.

    Reply
  • drg
    4:46 PM 04/04/2015

    Report my comments, couldn't really care less... in fact I'm surprised such a gladiator such as yourself would even consider it an option? Anyway, as I said, if you had sort of lingered about for a little while you'd notice that whilst on the face of things, Stroudos, Dan, myself and a few others appear to agree with everything (in the last 3-4 incidents), our opinions actually vary greatly on different topics. You mentioned you're standing up for players - I'm not sure about the rest of the guys, but I viewed Lawes tackle recently on the French 10 as brilliant... What do you view Du Plessis' incident as, penalty? red? yellow?

    Reply
  • drg
    9:23 AM 04/04/2015

    Phill, how long have you pleasured us with your company on RD? I only ask because I don't think I've been aware of you since this year... 2015 I believe Dan and myself and a few others have been on here for a fair few years before it became compulsory to even have a user name yet we're somehow the new sensitive lot? You've not been around here long enough to know what half of our views on rugby in general are, you're picking out the few incidents we've commented on and are making a (poor) judgement on who you think we are... As for wires crossed, no I do not have anything crossed, I am talking about Williams entering a maul badly, trying to shake up a player getting more weeks ban than Du Plessis kicking a player in the face.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    1:26 PM 03/04/2015

    I'll just reply to this comment and ignore the moron below. You're absolutely right. I don't see why this is more serious. The injury was worse, but the intent wasn't as bad. He was trying to shake the player up by hitting a little illegally, but it wasn't all that bad compared to some of the stuff we've seen.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:07 AM 03/04/2015

    For a kiwi, you're awfully clued up on current affairs in Europe and not massively aware of current affairs in Super Rugby.. Williams portrayed a shite physical connection to stop a maul. I play either second row or back row depending on wind direction and have played in the forwards nearly all my life, I'm not sure I've ever come across someone that thinks they can make some sort of difference by joining a maul like Williams did... What position do you play?

    Reply
  • drg
    9:04 AM 03/04/2015

    No genius, I was referring to Du Plessis kicking Leitch in the head... http://www.rugbydump.com/2015/03/4158/bismarck-du-plessis-banned-for-a-month-for-kicking-michael-leitch-in-the-face

    Reply
  • drg
    8:30 PM 02/04/2015

    ..so a player clearly and obviously kicks another player in the head/neck/face with studs and he gets 3 (4?) weeks.... Williams, makes a poor attempt at disguising his attack and he gets 16 weeks reduced by 8??? I'm really confused..

    Reply


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Ulster's Nick Williams suspended for 8 weeks for striking Rhys Patchell | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos