Watts headbutt: player and coach react

Friday’s ferocious contest at the KC between Hull FC and Warrington Wolves beat the weather but, as temperatures stayed around freezing, rushes of blood to the head saw two players receive red cards from Ben Thaler. The first of which saw Bureta Faraimo knocked out by a high tackle form Dec Patton but, while the Warrington player could possibly claim that there was no intent, aggressive forward Liam Watts couldn’t use the same excuse.

After being forced back in the tackle by Warrington’s Dom Crosby following initial contact seeming to be high, the former Hull KR forward took offence. Menacingly striding towards the mark to play the ball, instead of placing it on the deck he instead planted his head on his adversary’s forehead and, while there was a lack of force in the contact – Watts himself claimed, tongue in cheek, that he was “merely caressing Dom’s [Crosby] head with mine in a friendly manner”– he was almost instantly shown the red card and, as the camera panned to his coach Lee Radford shaking his head, Watts was leaving the pitch following his fourth red card since the start of 2017.

Speaking of the incident, Radford explained that he had no sympathy for Watts, saying that there is no defence for his forward’s actions and admitted that “he’s going to miss a lot of games and he deserves it.” Amusingly, the former player further added that “it was a pathetic attempt at a headbutt.”

Watts himself spoke out on social media this morning and, after initially explaining his view on the incident, added that “it’s not in my nature” – something which his disciplinary record, perhaps, disagrees with. However, he did go on to apologise to any children who say the incident, at pains to say that it isn’t acceptable behaviour on a rugby league pitch.

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