Tuesday 19 September 2017

Williams hails 'great boost' as Evans' red card rescinded

Referee Marius Mitrea. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Referee Marius Mitrea. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Scarlets have received an unexpected boost ahead of their Guinness PRO12 Aviva showdown with Munster this Saturday after winger Steff Evans had his tip-tackle red card rescinded by disciplinary chiefs.

This is despite his dismissal by referee Marius Mitrea last Friday in the RDS, following consultation with a TMO after several views of the slow-motion replay which showed tackled player Garry Ringrose landing on his head when being flung to the floor having been lifted beyond the horizontal in a tackle.

However, the disciplinary panel, citing a similar incident during last year's World Cup involving Scottish duo Richie Gray and Ross Ford, deemed that Samson Lee's involvement had influenced the incident.

"Marius Mitrea deemed the player to have committed an act of foul play against an opponent player," said a PRO12 statement.

"The Disciplinary Panel - Roddy Dunlop QC (Chair), Roddy MacLeod and Iain Leslie (all Scotland) - decided, by a majority, that the Player undertook a lawful tackle in a manner that was consistent with the laws of the game.

"The tackle only became dangerous as a result of the intervention of Scarlets No 3 (Samson Lee).


"The Panel, having directed itself under reference to the decision of the Appeal Committee in Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (RWC 2015), decided, by a majority, that this meant that the red card should be rescinded."

With Lions hooker Ken Owens and second-row Jake Ball still absent through injury, Evans' availability, especially considering his outstanding contribution before his first-half dismissal, is a boon for the West Wales outfit.

Scott Williams, who won a Grand Slam under Warren Gatland in 2012 but has yet to claim club silverware, hopes to brush off his Lions omission by helping his side clinch their first major title of the professional era on Saturday.

"It's a great boost," was the centre's reaction. "Steff is someone who can create something out of nothing. He's been players' player of the year at the club this season, he's the top try-scorer in the PRO12 and he been a standout performer.

"Had he stayed on the field against Leinster he probably would have been up there for man-of-the-match.

"I'm so pleased for him. He was devastated at half-time, but we spoke to him and said we were going to go out and win the game for him.

"There was no panic. The boys just couldn't wait to get out there to get the job done. But we know we will have to be even better against Munster."

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