Interim Sale Sharks head coach Paul Deacon has admitted that the water carrier that was at the centre of the scuffle with Gloucester should not have picked up the ball.
A fight broke out after Gloucester’s Billy Twelvetrees shoved the Sale water carrier in the dying seconds of the Gallagher Premiership encounter between the two sides.
Players from both teams eventually ended up grappling with one another in the stands of Kingsholm Stadium, but Twelvetrees was the only man that was shown a yellow card for the incident.
Billy Twelvetrees smashes water carrier out of the way leading to huge fight in Gallagher Premiership Royal Rumble pic.twitter.com/QyBBfMRD6g
— james___flynn (@jamesfl68585245) January 2, 2021
Deacon felt that the water carrier shouldn’t have picked up the ball but did acknowledge that the Sale staff member didn’t go out of his way to interfere with the play.
“It was unfortunate. Our water carrier, it was just an instinct to pick up the ball. He didn’t move his feet. The ball just appeared in front of him. On speaking to him he probably shouldn’t have done it but he was just picking up the ball.
“Again, split-second decision to hand it back really. It just looked ugly. We don’t want to see scenes like that in our game but again emotions do run high and it was an emotional ending to the game with a last-minute score etc, etc.
“Again, unfortunate incident but I do think sometimes the contest isn’t considered,” Deacon told RugbyPass.
‘The Dan du Preez incident has been blown out of proportion’
The fight wasn’t the only controversial incident in the game however, with Sale’s Dan du Preez being cited for a high shot on Gloucester’s Chris Harris.
Honestly, but even is the point anymore? pic.twitter.com/xwbabtY9NQ
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) January 2, 2021
However, the Sale coach felt his player was unlucky to have made such high contact with the Scottish international.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t read much press. The Dan du Preez incident has been blown out of all proportion. The (Gloucester) player was stood up when Dan committed to the tackle, he has ended up probably two feet off the floor and Dan has dropped to two feet off the floor.
“These things happen on rugby fields. It’s not black and white. It wasn’t pre-meditated. It’s just a decision, he has committed to the tackle, tried to drop. It looks ugly but these things can happen,” Deacon commented.