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Tuesday Jan 17, 2017

Will Skelton carded for slap after theatrical James Davies fall

Saracens pulled off a remarkable final play of the match to snatch a valuable Champions Cup draw with the Scarlets at the weekend, putting the Welsh side out of the competition. It was a particularly heroic effort from the 2015 champions as just minutes before, they lost Will Skelton to the sin-bin for a slap on Scarlets back-rower James Davies.

As most will know, Skelton is a towering figure and any kind of impact received is likely to leave its mark. While Davies no doubt felt the strike from the Wallaby second row, the Wales internationalist did himself no favours with what appeared to be a severe case of play-acting.

This act probably did little to alter referee Alexandre Ruiz’s decision to show Skelton a yellow card, but it is worryingly becoming more frequent in the game these days.

To the letter of the law, Skelton deserved his sin-binning, but in a scene reminiscent of Pascal Papé’s comical play-acting that saw Edinburgh’s Phil Burleigh get sent off before Christmas, Davies’ behaviour left a sour taste.

Saracens were undeterred in the end and scored a fantastic last-minute try from Chris Ashton, who is now joint second with Brian O’Driscoll on the all-time European Cup try score list, just three behind Toulouse’s Vincent Clerc.

What are your thoughts on the incident?


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