Joe Schmidt has said he will conduct a forensic review of Bundee Aki’s red card before answering whether it was the right decision or not.
The Ireland midfielder was sent off for a high tackle in the 29th minute of his team’s comprehensive 47-5 win over Samoa and while it had no effect on the outcome in Fukuoka, a likely three-week suspension threatens to rule Aki out of the remainder of the tournament.
“We are happy with the result and a number of things about the performance, but we are obviously disappointed that we didn’t finish the game with 15 players and we will look at that and come up with some reasoning behind it,” said Schmidt in the wake of the seven-try performance that put Ireland into the quarter-finals and back on top of Pool A ahead of Japan’s match on Sunday versus Samoa.
“I will have to review it and have a really have a close look. I think he is a very good referee [Nic Berry] and it’s hard to argue at the moment, but it’s pretty devastating to Bundee. It was a really disappointing finish to the night.”
Skipper Rory Best added: “We had to leave defensive rucks alone, make sure we had numbers on our feet. We have overcome red cards before. It wasn’t ideal but it shows a lot of character about a squad when you’re down a man, how you adapt. And ultimately, there was no panic, there was a lot of collective and we continued to attack.”
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Samoa, who has had a generally indisciplined World Cup, shipped two further yellow cards in the loss to Ireland, a situation that drew the ire of coach Steve Jackson.
“Our discipline has got to be a lot better than it has been – you can’t get yellow cards like we have and have 14 men on the field. Spending more time together as a team would be great, but hopefully we can play a few more games other than the normal ones that we play.
This was more like it from Ireland with some of their key players performing excellently in making light work of Samoa and the blow that was Bundee Aki's red card https://t.co/GQ4gQCBhQr
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 12, 2019
“We wanted to be in the contest a bit more but they are a good Irish side and they had a lot of supporters here tonight. The team culture, the way the environment is after losing and the way they regroup after losing and how much of a family are things I’m proud of. They have stuck together.
“They said this World Cup would be better and it has been outstanding. It’s great what World Rugby and the Japanese have put on. I’m just lucky enough to be part of it and we’ve got some great memories.”
WATCH: What rugby fans can expect in Fukuoka at night during the World Cup
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