Sunday 19 November 2017

Brian O'Driscoll weighs in on Johnny Sexton's 'football' reaction after dangerous tackle

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

After Johnny Sexton was criticised by a host of ex-England internationals last weekend, Brian O'Driscoll has defended the Irish star over his reaction to a dangerous tackle against Scotland.

Alex Dunbar flipped Sexton onto his back during the 35-25 win, with the out-half then remonstrating with the referee before clutching his head. Lewis Moody, Mike Tindall, Brian Moore and Andy Goode all expressed disappointment with how Sexton 'milked' the incident, with many of them throwing the line 'this is not football' in his direction.

Speaking to Off The Ball on Newstalk tonight, O'Driscoll admitted that Sexton's behaviour didn't come across well to those watching but ultimately he backed his former team-mate.

"It doesn't look brilliant when you react to the referee first and when you aren't getting any love from him you hold your head," O'Driscoll said.

"It doesn't look good. I would give him the benefit of the doubt since I know he isn't the kind of player to feign injury."

Liam Toland also defended the Ireland out-half, saying the lack of protection he gets from referees was partly to blame.

"I would certainly forgive him his act," Toland said.

"If anyone in northern rugby has an entitlement to thrown his hands up and have a tantrum it is him. He has been absolutely brutalised in the Six Nations."

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