France coach makes accusation following Paul Willemse red card
Fabien Galthie claims Wales ‘specialise in getting players sent off’
The French triumphed in the fixture in dramatic fashion when Brice Dulin crossed for the match-winning try once the clock had gone red to keep their title hopes alive going into their final game against Scotland on Friday.
Yet Galthie was clearly unhappy with the red card shown to second-row Willemse in the 68th minute.
The sending off came after TMO Wayne Barnes intervened to highlight an incident at a ruck close to the Welsh line. Dulin had just crossed for a try but the officials chalked that off due to foul play in the build-up.
In clearing out Wyn Jones at a breakdown, Willemse rolled the Wales prop out around the neck and his hand made contact with the front-rower’s eye in the same movement. Referee Luke Pearce brandished the red card, the French try was disallowed and Wales were awarded a penalty.
In the post-match press conference, Galthie was asked whether he thought Willemse deserved a heavy sanction and the coach then made his claim about Wales, who have seen Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony and Scotland’s Zander Fagerson sent off against them in this year’s championship.
Galthie, via a translator, said: “I don’t think he deserves a heavy sanction. If you watch it there is clearly no contact, or if there is it’s clearly very limited. It’s absolutely not voluntary.
“If you watch the reaction of the Welsh players, they specialise in making the opponents get red cards. Their body language is quite clear.
“I hope the referee takes that into consideration. I don’t think Paul deserves a sanction. I believe we need to share this – I don’t see why he should be sanctioned.”
Wales coach Wayne Pivac was asked about the accusations in his press conference and he said: “I haven’t any comment on that.
“The match officials run the game and had plenty of replays. It went on for some time. They went through a process and that’s what the officials are there to do.”
Red cards automatically result in a disciplinary hearing and Willemse will face his this week.
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