Schmidt lays no blame at referee


Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Joe Schmidt has exonerated referee JP Doyle from any blame over Georgia flanker Viktor Kolelisvhili’s unpunished stamp on Ireland debutant Dominic Ryan’s face.

Kolelisvhili is expected to receive a citing after stamping on Leinster back-rower Ryan’s face during Ireland’s 49-7 win over the Lelos in Dublin on Sunday.

Referee Doyle waved away Ireland captain Eoin Reddan’s requests for a Television Match Official (TMO) review, saying “I can’t listen to that” during the six-try victory.

Ireland boss Schmidt backed Doyle for not referring the incident, suggesting TMO Jim Yuille should have alerted the referee to potential foul play.

“I think the protocol is that if there is suspected foul play the TMO can intervene, he can let the referee know and then the referee can review it,” said Schmidt.

“Obviously the incident had passed, and I think by the time Eoin spoke to the referee the game had moved on a little bit, and he heard nothing from the TMO.

“So according to the protocol I think he acted correctly.

“There’s not really much else that JP Doyle could have done.

“That’s just the way it works.

“It’s something that I know is being talked about a fair bit: they may change those protocols at some stage.

“Currently his (Doyle’s) hands were tied a little bit: he didn’t see it himself personally, Luke Pearce on the touchline didn’t see it.

“Therefore if there was an incident then that has to be dealt with by the TMO pretty much in close proximity in time, otherwise once the game goes on it’s pretty hard to go a long way back.

“It didn’t look great at the end of it, but I didn’t see how it occurred.

“Rugby is a game where things can happen.

“It’s one of those things we’ll have a look at and I don’t think we’ll be the only ones.

“But for me I’m pretty keen just to move on from it and leave it on the pitch.”

Leinster flanker Ryan somehow escaped serious injury in a first half where Ireland botched a host of try-scoring chances.

Felix Jones grabbed a second-half brace, with Dave Kilcoyne, Richardt Strauss, Simon Zebo and Stuart Olding completing the eventual rout.

Giorgi Nemsadze claimed Georgia’s sole score in a testing day for the world’s 15th-ranked Test side.

Leinster scrum-half Reddan, captaining Ireland for the first time, also refused to lay any criticism at referee Doyle, but admitted he believes world rugby chiefs may tinker with the TMO rules.

Reddan said he believes the International Rugby Board (IRB) are examining whether to hand teams a number of TMO review requests per match.

“Basically I asked him to have a look at it, and he said he wasn’t in a position to do so,” said Reddan.

“Dominic, his eye was sore, he just asked me to ask the ref to have a look at it.

“I asked the ref, he said he wasn’t in a position to do that, so…

“I think the powers that be are on top of it and they are talking about it.

“At the end of the day he’s got to make his decision based on that.

“If there’s something very, very bad there maybe the assistant referee should step in, and maybe the TMO can look at it himself.

“That would be where I am on that.

“At the same time the game’s got to flow and it’s up to the referees and the powers that be to make sure that happens.”

Georgia’s Kiwi boss Milton Haig conceded that Kolelisvhili will now in all probability face disciplinary action.

“I certainly saw it on the replay,” said Haig.

“I know Viktor and he certainly wouldn’t be doing anything like that intentionally.

“We’ll have to wait to hear from the citing commissioner.

“We got taught a couple of lessons.”

Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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