Williams

Grant Williams of South Africa leaving the field after being tackled by Emiliano Baffelli of Argentina. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Argentina star handed ban after collision with Boks’ Williams

It’s been confirmed that Argentina fullback Juan Cruz Mallia has been handed a short ban after his collision with Grant Williams.

Williams

Grant Williams of South Africa leaving the field after being tackled by Emiliano Baffelli of Argentina. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

During last Saturday’s Test between the Springboks and Argentina, one of the main talking points revolved around the dramatic collision between Bok scrumhalf Grant Williams – who was starting his first Test – and Pumas fullback Juan Cruz Mallia in attempting to charge down his kick.

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Despite Williams clearly being knocked out, referee Andrew Brace did allow play to proceed for a few seconds, before turning attention to the halfback lying flat on his face.

However, Mallia was subsequently cited for the controversial incident, under law 9.11: Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to other.

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The citing commissioner deemed Mallia’s actions met the red card threshold, and he has now been handed a ban, albeit only for two weeks.

“The judicial committee considered the act of foul play was reckless, with a high degree of danger and had a considerable impact on the victim player,” read its judgement.

Yet, the statement also suggested the committee had heard evidence from the referee and Argentina coach Michael Cheika about “how successful charge downs of kicks are viewed by match officials and as to how coaching of players is conducted as a consequence’.

“The committee decided that a mid-range sanction would be wholly disproportionate to the player’s fault and that the foul play merited a low-range entry point of two weeks,” the judgement added.

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The incident drew a huge reaction on social media, with many comparing it to an incident from several years ago when former Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie was also knocked out when CJ Stander attempted to charge down a kick. Not all that long after, Lambie had to retire due to the effects of concussion.

Williams will be out of action “for at least two weeks” after suffering a concussion.

“Grant was out cold so I think there is definitely concussion. I don’t know the extent of it, but he will probably be out for at least two weeks,” Bok coach Jacques Nienaber said.

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Watch the incident involving Williams below:

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Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Manie Libbok and Malcolm Marx
Eben Etzebeth, Manie Libbok and Malcolm Marx. Photo: Springboks via Twitter.