Matt Williams slammed for post-match take on Nic White being able to play on after head blow
"I totally disagree. We're not doctors!"
There was a moment of controversy during Australia's 13-10 defeat to Ireland, at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, as scrumhalf Nic White returned to the field of play after taking a knock to the head, and looking shaky in the aftermath.
White looked to have been stunned after diving at the legs of Mack Hansen, in an effort to prevent a try, and getting it wrong. His head collided off the leg of Hansen and he dropped to the deck.
There was a break in play as there was a Television Match Official check for Hansen's offload to Jamison Gibson-Park. As replays rolled of that passage of play, with the Ireland try getting chalked off, White received a check from a Wallabies medic.
He then was involved in another collision, with Josh van der Flier and, at the next pause in action, he was checked again before leaving the field for a Head Injury Assessment.
Let’s be honest mens test Rugby is totally fucked - a brain trauma machine . When will someone shout stop. Nick White WTF? Couldn’t stand and he’s brought back on. #irelandrugby pic.twitter.com/CGVLQrFr29
— Jack Murray (@mediamurray) November 19, 2022
Matt Williams on Nic White HIA
Nic White was able to return to the field of play, after that check to make sure he had no concussion symptoms. He ended up playing until the final whistle.
While many rugby fans were not happy that the scrumhalf was allowed to return to the field of play, after such worrying footage, Australia head coach Dave Rennie gave his take on the matter. He commented:
"As far as I know, he was asked to come off to get assessed. He was assessed and he passed... I didn't see the incident myself."
Over on Virgin Media, Rob Kearney and Matt Williams were in complete disagreement over the Nic White incident. Kearney called it "uncomfortable viewing" and said there was 'no way Nic White should be returning to the field of play'. Williams countered:
"Oh, look, I totally disagree. We're not doctors... He goes off to an independent doctor and they look at footage. There could be 101 reasons why Nic White stumbles. He's just been smashed inside a ruck. It hurts. It hurts your ribs.
"Look, I'm not defending it but it's not our place to judge, as it is a medical decision. You know Climate Change - we've got to trust the science. Medical science, we've got to trust the science... he definitely got a knock, and he was removed from the field of play."
Williams said he 'hates concussions' but said 'we have to trust the science'. Kearney and Virgin Media host Joe Molloy argued back, but the Australian was not having a bar of it.
Debate on Nick White incident tonight.
Rob Kearney and Matt Williams in real disagreement with how it was handled.
Rob: 🗣 "There is no way he should be returning to the field of play."
Matt: 🗣 "I totally disagree. We're not doctors!"#IREvAUS | #ANS pic.twitter.com/KUwfL323dY
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 19, 2022
There was a strong reaction to Matt Williams giving the benefit of the doubt to the Aussies over Nic White returning to the field of play:
Joe Molloy is on the ball and Matt Williams is so far off! The situation around Nic White and his HIA should be the biggest talking point if rugby wants to survive
— Jonny Holland (@jonnyholland10) November 19, 2022
Nic White being allowed back onto that pitch was a disgrace. Matt Williams talkin thru his hoop. The dude couldn't walk straight. #IREvAUS
— Colm Corcoran (@cokesdonegal) November 19, 2022
Absolutely obvious when you rewatch. And obvious to everyone watching at home at the time. Terrible that he was let back on. Terrible for Matt Williams on @virginmedia to even argue. White should have been off. #IREvAUS https://t.co/pn1nD06Mgh
— Sophie McDermott (@SophieMcDLaw) November 19, 2022
Matt Williams embarrassing himself atm discussing Concussion and defending White coming back on even though all guidance suggests that he should never have been back on the field. Do better! Player welfare is key.
— Dr Lisa Ryan (@LisRyan_Nutri) November 19, 2022
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