Rugby

Matt Williams Believes Officials Should Be Ashamed Of Performance In Leinster Game

Matt Williams Believes Officials Should Be Ashamed Of Performance In Leinster Game

In terms of tactics, targeting the opposition out-half is as old as it comes in rugby. Johnny Sexton knows about it more than most.

The Leinster ten was the subject of some special treatment from Saracens in Sunday's comprehensive Champions Cup quarter-final win at the Aviva.

Maro Itoje and Richard Wigglesworth, in particular, left their mark on Sexton. The latter really should have seen been sin-binned for a late hit with his shoulder. However, referee Jerome Garces did not produce a yellow card.

"It was the officials who were at fault," said former Leinster and Ulster head coach, Matt Williams, speaking to the Second Captains podcast on Monday.

Sexton has to be looked after. Officials have to know going into a game that he's getting hit late.

He's not getting hit late one or twice - everyone gets hit late once or twice - but Johnny Sexton is getting hit late every game.

It's right out of order at the moment. Once or twice, yeah. Why that official didn't act on Wigglesworth's hit is beyond me.

Williams believes that the Leinster hierarchy should be more vocal in the build-up to big games regarding the treatment which Sexton has received.

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"If I was Mick Dawson, the CEO of Leinster, I'd be putting some pressure on the referee before the game, in a nice way, saying, 'Listen, you've got to make sure that this world class player is not being treated illegally and with foul play' - because he is.

"I thought there were a couple of very, very poor decisions as far as looking after the well-being of a player on the field. The officials should hang their heads in shame. You'd certainly hope that in future justice is done."

Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

See Also: The British And French Media Reaction To Leinster And Munster's Quarter-Final Wins

PJ Browne
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