Friday 24 February 2017

Trip was accidental, says Davies

Andrew Baldock

Wales centre Jonathan Davies has insisted he is not "a dirty player" as the threat of possible disciplinary action hangs over him.

Davies could find himself in the dock following an alleged trip on England wing Chris Ashton during Friday night's Six Nations clash at the Millennium Stadium.

The incident was missed by match referee Alain Rolland and his assistants, but television footage showed Davies appearing to trip England's two-try hero.

Match commissioner, Frenchman Jean-Etienne Bernard has a deadline of tonight to decide whether Davies, 22, should face a disciplinary hearing next week. If the matter progresses, Davies could face a ban of anything between two and more than seven weeks, although the maximum sanction for tripping is a year's suspension.

Scarlets prospect Davies made his Six Nations debut in the 26-19 defeat to England, which was Wales' eighth successive game without a win stretching back to last March.

"I am not a dirty player," Davies said. "Hopefully nothing will come of it. I don't think there is a need for a citing at all. All I remember was putting the ball through on the floor and then going to kick it on again, and unfortunately I caught his leg. There were no intentions at all."

Wales coach Warren Gatland will be keen to retain his midfield partnership of Davies and Jamie Roberts for the next match against Scotland, although the versatile James Hook is a ready-made replacement if required.

And given that Wales have only beaten Scotland at Murrayfield three times during the last 20 years, Gatland will require every playing weapon at his disposal.

"The boys are still hurting from the result. It was a tough game and to come away with the loss was bitterly disappointing. We created a couple of chances, but we just didn't quite have the accuracy that is needed at the top level. We should be nailing those chances.

"It's about a bit of composure and not being too eager, just relaxing a bit. These mistakes creep into our game, which we have got to get out. It's about not panicking now. When we had the ball last night we looked pretty dangerous, I thought. The rugby we played was pretty accurate at times, it's just making sure we play for the full 80 minutes."

As at Twickenham last year, Wales were left fretting over the costly business of yellow cards. Lock Alun-Wyn Jones' sin-binning last season saw Wales concede 17 unanswered points in his absence, while this time they leaked 10 when prop Craig Mitchell saw yellow.

"When we were down to 14 men they took their chances and we didn't capitalise when they were down to 14," Davies added. "It's going to be tough with three away games now, but that's the way fixtures go. They are intimidating places (Murrayfield, Stadio Flaminio and Stade de France), but we are not going to be afraid."

Sunday Indo Sport

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