SRU takes time to weigh up Ford and Gray appeals

Ford and Gray were deemed to have illegally cleared Jack Lam out of a breakdown. Picture: Getty
Ford and Gray were deemed to have illegally cleared Jack Lam out of a breakdown. Picture: Getty
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SCOTTISH rugby officials will study the written decision before deciding whether to appeal the three-week bans handed out by World Rugby to Ross Ford and Jonny Gray.

After having to swallow the bitter disappointment of seeing two of their front five forwards banned for the remainder of the World Cup, Scotland refused to be bounced into making an immediate response.

Ford and Gray were deemed to have illegally cleared Jack Lam out of a breakdown when the Samoan flanker landed awkwardly on his head in Saturday’s Pool B clash. An Australian citing officer spotted the misdemeanour.

The SRU only received the written explanation yesterday and they have 48 hours from receipt to appeal. The union’s lawyers will now study the written verdict.

Any review of the footage suggests that Gray may have a case to answer after lifting Lam’s legs above the vertical but Ford looks like an unwitting bystander.

On that basis, it would be odd if the SRU were not to appeal, especially since there is no downside to doing so barring the legal fees. No appeal to date in this World Cup has resulted in a charge being overturned. The best that has happened is a reduction in the sanction.

Scotland face Australia in the quarter-finals on Sunday at Twickenham.