Matt Williams believes that Johnny Sexton was repeatedly the victim of foul play vs Saracens and that the referees adjudicating of the incidents was atrocious.
Speaking on the Second Captains podcast on Monday, the former Leinster coach stated that officials should know heading into games of such magnitude that players such as Sexton are going to be targeted and must be willing to take appropriate measures to protect them.
However, according to Williams, the officiating during Leinster and Saracens’ Champions Cup clash on Sunday was beyond baffling with the Australian even stating that the team in charge of the quarter-final should be ashamed of themselves.
“It was the officials who were at fault,” said Williams. “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 once 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. But why that official didn’t act on Wigglesworth’s hit is beyond me?
@btsportrugby how is wigglesworth still on the field after that pop at sexton!? Refereeing all season has been appaling yet again…..
— Tom (@unitedsupremacy) April 1, 2018
Wigglesworth was very lucky not to even have that reviewed. On the replay, clear that he even made the effort to jump into Sexton.
— Chris Donnell (@donChristo716) April 1, 2018
First half, Wigglesworth threw a straight shoulder charge into Sexton’s shoulder/neck about a second after Sexton released a pass. Could have been a card, but only got a penalty.
— J Wood (@mxyzplx) April 1, 2018
Williams went onto speak in an even more scathing manner about the ‘very, very poor decisions’ that he felt jeopardised the safety of the players on the pitch, demanding that in future ‘justice is done’ and the officiating is of a higher standard.
“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.”
Hat tip: Balls.ie