Saturday 25 February 2017

'The game is in serious trouble, because this is a disgrace' - Paul Kimmage on bruising Ireland v All Blacks clash

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Paul Kimmage says rugby needs to address the issue of dangerous tackles in the sport, which overshadowed New Zealand's win over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The All Blacks outscored Ireland by three tries to none, but a number of high challenges - most notably from Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa - drew the ire of the Irish crowd, as well as being picked up by the citing commissioner.

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

Robbie Henshaw was forced to leave the game on a stretcher after the All Blacks flanker made contact with his head, and it was one of a number of heavy collisions that Kimmage found objectionable.

Speaking to Matt Cooper on The Last Word on Today FM yesterday evening, the Sunday Independent journalist was blunt in describing the state that he feels rugby is in.

"I thought I was at the Colosseum on Saturday night," Kimmage said.

"I'll preface what I say Matt, by saying, in terms of an event, it was probably the most compelling sporting event I've been at this year. Just absolutely compelling. Riveting viewing. But deeply, deeply disturbing."

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

"The game is in serious trouble, because this is a disgrace," he continued.

"What happened to Robbie Henshaw is a disgrace. I think there was three head injuries, a number of neck injuries, and I think this is something that the sport really, really needs to be addressed."

Cane and Fekitoa are both facing bans following their tackles, although All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has said that the team will contest the former's charge.

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