Scarlets v Edinburgh: Grant Gilchrist red card takes shine off capital win

Sean Everett's side secure their place in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup

Edinburgh second-row Grant Gilchrist saw red Scarlets. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Edinburgh second-row Grant Gilchrist saw red Scarlets. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scarlets 19

Edinburgh 31

EDINBURGH did what they needed to in terms of qualifying for the last 16 of the Challenge Cup, but there is a question mark hanging over lock Grant Gilchrist after being red-carded.

It was for two yellow cards, both head contact in the tackle, but that does not mean an automatic suspension for the player, who is among the options to be Scotland captain for the opening Six Nations game back in Wales in two weeks’ time.

His fate will depend on a disciplinary panel, with Edinburgh coach Sean Everitt hoping he will not face any further action. The second yellow in particular was soft – probably the right decision by referee Sara Cox but not meriting further punishment.


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“We came here to do a job and to get five points, and there was also a bit of pride at stake as well after what happened here last year,” said Everitt afterwards, referring to the 42-14 defeat the capital side suffered in the URC last February.

“We did chat about that during the week and for us it was about being resilient and sticking to our plan and obviously trying to outwork Scarlets. I thought we did that really well in the first half.

“Discipline was good in the first half, only conceding four penalties, and they got a bit loose in the second half where we conceded seven and we made life difficult for ourselves.”

It was a dream start for the visitors as a poor kick gave them territory and a line-out steal allowed them to add pressure. Scrum-half Ben Vellacott spotted a gap round the fringes of a ruck and dived over for the opening try.

The second followed soon after, a series of penalties from English referee Cox giving Edinburgh field position and they forced their way over from short range, prop WP Nel applying the finishing touch. Ben Healy added both conversions.

It was almost too good to be true and could not continue. The Scarlets back-line looked threatening and slick passing worked left-wing Steff Evans clear.

The visitors managed to scramble back to prevent the try, but hooker Dave Cherry did so from an offside position to earn a yellow card.

The Scarlets maintained the forward pressure but once again it was the backs who provided the key touches as they put centre Joe Roberts through for their first try.

However, normal service was soon resumed, a high kick being collected by Edinburgh full-back Emiliano Boffelli, whose leap also took him past the home defence. He gave left wing Duhan van der Merwe a clear run to the line for the third try.

The fourth try and the bonus point had a more familiar look to it, a series of penalties and forward drives being finished off by flanker Hamish Watson, Healy again converting.

Having earned the bonus point, it was then just a question of securing the victory, however captain Gilchrist’s failure to go low in the tackle saw him receive his first yellow for head contact. He was lucky there was minimal force or it would have been a straight red.

Edinburgh survived through to half-time, but Gilchrist has previous in this area and it should have been a timely reminder ahead of the Six Nations.

At the start of the second half, while still down to 14 men, Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman forced his way over to seal the result.

But then Gilchrist picked up his second yellow, and Scarlets scored two late tries through Tomi Lewis and a penalty try for a deliberate knock-on by Duhan van der Merwe, which also earned the winger a yellow card.

 

Scorers –

Scarlets: I Nicholas; Steff Evans (T Lewis 49), J Roberts, J Davies, R Conbeer; I Lloyd (C Titcombe), K Hardy (G Davies 49); S Thomas (K Mathias 45), R Elias (E Swart 49), H O’Connor (S Wainwright 49), A Craig (M Jones 53), J Price, B Williams, D Davis (Shaun Evans 65), V Fifita.

Edinburgh: E Boffelli; C Dean, M Currie, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Healy (C Scott 68), B Vellacott (A Price 62); P Schoeman (B Venter 59), D Cherry (E Ashman 59), W Nel (A Williams 59), S Skinner (G Young 55), G Gilchrist, L Crosbie (T Dodd 68), H Watson (E Ashman 12-22), V Mata (J Ritchie 45).

Referee: Sara Cox (RFU).

 

Scorers –

Scarlets: Tries: Roberts, Lewis, Penalty Try. Con: Lloyd.

Edinburgh: Tries: Vellacott, Nel, Van der Merwe, Watson, Schoeman; Cons: Healy 3.

Scoring sequence (Scarlets first): 0-5; 0-7; 0-12; 0-14; 5-14; 5-19; 5-21; 5-26 (h-t) 10-31; 12-31; 19-31.

 

Yellow cards –

Scarlets: Craig (42mins)

Edinburgh: Cherry (11mins), Gilchrist (36mins), van der Merwe (81mins)

 

Red card –

Edinburgh: Gilchrist (72mins)

 

Attendance: 5,993


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8 Comments

  1. Got the impression that the ref gave Craig a yellow to match up to Gilchrist’s, Craig’s looked a nailed on red to me.

  2. Perhaps a little off topic but while Darcy is a great player and probably a first choice wing, I hope GT doesn’t risk playing him if not fully fit as we actually have some really good alternatives in VdM, Steyn & Rowe. Gilchrist I think is lucky to be in 6N squad, if Henderson was fit I reckon he might have been omitted, his possible leadership qualities being his saving grace. Cummings and Gray would be my picks anyway , Skinner or Young on the bench, definitely not Gilchrist.

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  3. It is with some trepidation that I have my moan about yet another ill-conceived diktat from World Rugby with the officiating of head contact.
    Frankly it has little to do with player safety and everything to do with World Rugby covering their Rrrrr’s with the Class Action in the wings: of course other views are available and no doubt will be whizzing my way soon
    Gilchrist getting the second yellow was ludicrous in the sense that it would lead to an automatic Red that neither of his ‘supposed’ offences merited, ‘I’m not seeing a high degree of danger’ said the Ref for the 2nd time!!!
    Then just give a penalty, if it isn’t dangerous, a collapsing scrum is arguably more dangerous I don’t recall seeing a Red Card for regular collapsing the maul either.
    Then the yellow for VdM farcical what looked to me like an instant reaction rather than a deliberate ‘professional’ foul, and then offering up a penalty try, what if that decision made a difference to the result or took Scarlets to a loosing point?
    If the officiating of the game continues like this goodness only knows, it’s a farce, and again it has nothing to do with player safety.
    That said well done Edinburgh [but Scarlets were a shadow of their former self] and Glasgow especially away in Toulon.
    Ps: I thought Cherry had an excellent response to being left un-carded for the squad.

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    • I thought both Gilco’s yellows were harsh – certainly when compared to Alex Craig’s, which for me was a red card all day long.

      But, players know the score. If you don’t get low in the tackle that is the risk you take. And, I’m afraid, Gilco has previous in this area.

      Personally, I would not play someone who persists in taking those risks. It is not fair to the rest of the team. Maybe he is getting older, slower and stiffer or maybe he just can’t learn his lesson, either way it is the same outcome.

      What I will say is that it is the outcome that is being refereed rather than the cause, so it is a complete lottery who gets yellow, who gets red and who gets no card at all.

      It is surely only a matter of time before tackling above the sternum is outlawed, so we might as well get on with it and give everyone as much time as possible to adjust. I think we would get a far better as well as a less controversial product as a result.

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  4. It is with some trepidation that I have my moan about yet another ill-conceived diktat from World Rugby with the officiating of head contact.
    Frankly it has little to do with player safety and everything to do with World Rugby covering their Rrrrr’s with the Class Action in the wings: of course other views are available and no doubt will be whizzing my way soon
    Gilchrist getting the second yellow was ludicrous in the sense that it would lead to an automatic Red that neither of his ‘supposed’ offences merited, ‘I’m not seeing a high degree of danger’ said the Ref for the 2nd time!!!
    Then just give a penalty, if it isn’t dangerous, a collapsing scrum is arguably more dangerous I don’t recall seeing a Red Card for regular collapsing the maul either.
    Then the yellow for VdM farcical what looked to me like an instant reaction rather than a deliberate ‘professional’ foul, and then offering up a penalty try, what if that decision made a difference to the result or took Scarlets to a loosing point?
    If the officiating of the game continues like this goodness only knows, it’s a farce, and again it has nothing to do with player safety.
    That said well done Edinburgh [but Scarlets were a shadow of their former self] and Glasgow especially away in Toulon.
    Ps: I thought Cherry had an excellent response to being left un-carded for the squad.

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  5. Yes the Welsh standards have certainly declined over recent years and yes it will probably reflect in the 6 nations We just cannot really afford to play in these rarified heights. Happy now!

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    • Not sure I get your point?

      I wasn’t having a go at the Welsh, just commenting, which is surely the point of these discussion threads?

  6. Hmmm, obviously a good win away from home, even including giving Scarlets 3 periods of cards …. Scarlets must be truly rubbish.

    Watched a recording of the Welsh coverage, was perhaps better than listening to a biased Welsh commentary in English 😌

    Good to qualify, should add a good game to the season.

    I wonder when, or if !, the poor performance of the Welsh regions translates to the international performances?

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