Tuesday 23 May 2017

‘We’re not whingers’ - But Ireland insist Henshaw was knocked out by 'shoulder contact with jaw'

Robbie Henshaw receives medical attention during the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw receives medical attention during the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

New Zealand will defend their player Sam Cane at a disciplinary hearing in London today as Ireland confirmed that Robbie Henshaw was unconscious before he hit the ground due to a "shoulder contact with the jaw".

Coach Steve Hansen confirmed the All Blacks will not contest the challenge by Malakai Fekitoa on Simon Zebo but it is believed they will argue that Leinster centre Henshaw fell into the contact which caused him to leave the field on a stretcher.

"They are what they are," said Hansen when asked about the citings. "Fekitoa's challenge was clumsy and high, but we will defend Sam's - we believe it was a head clash.

"We can understand why the citing commissioner wants to cite it, a guy got knocked out. We'll go there and get a good hearing, I'm hoping."

Ireland manager Mick Kearney said he was disappointed with the 12 incidents uncovered in citing commissioner Bruce Kuklinski's video review, before the New Zealander sent two to hearing.

Read more: 'Citing commissioner picked out 12 incidents and 11 referred to New Zealand' - Ireland manager Mick Kearney

Read more: The Left Wing: 'It was really cynical play' - Luke Fitzgerald analyses Ireland's controversy-ridden loss to the All Blacks

Only one involved an Irish challenge - from CJ Stander on Cane - and Kearney was swift to defend Ireland's reputation following the brutal encounter.

"I don't think Ireland are whinging at all," he said. "We don't cite anybody, we don't make any complaints because at the end of the day they have got the angles and they go through things fairly forensically.

"World Rugby had said if these incidents occur you are liable to a red card possibly. That obviously didn't happen at the weekend."

Aside from Henshaw, CJ Stander may also miss this weekend's Test against Australia as he undergoes return to play protocols, while Rob Kearney also displayed concussive symptoms after the game and will receive the same monitoring.

Jonathan Sexton's hamstring strain will also rule him out of action although the injury is not believed to be a long-term issue.

Zebo (cramp) and Tadhg Furlong (dead leg) will be closely monitored this week but Peter O'Mahony, Ultan Dillane and Keith Earls are likely to be available.

"There's no point looking back," said Jamie Heaslip. "The game is over. They won. We got Australia now."

Irish Independent

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