Monday 23 April 2018

'A lot of screaming, a lot of noise' - Austin Healey accuses Ireland of 'playacting' in win over England

Jonny May of England competes for the ball with Jacob Stockdale of Ireland
Jonny May of England competes for the ball with Jacob Stockdale of Ireland

Former England scrum-half Austin Healey has accused Ireland of "playacting" during their Grand Slam win over England at Twickenham last week.

Ireland steamrolled Eddie Jones' side 25-14 to secure a third-ever Grand Slam and a third Six Nations title in five years.

And while Healey, capped 51 times for England, hailed Joe Schmidt's men as a world class team and one of the favourites for the World Cup, he suggested that there was a lot of "screaming and noise" last Saturday afternoon.

Speaking on BT's Rugby Tonight Podcast, Healey said: "That's my only problem with the Irish team - brilliant side, great players across the field - but there was an awful lot of playacting going on.

"A lot of screaming, a lot of noise, it's working for them and it's getting them where they need to be - I mean they've won three Six Nations in the last five years and now they've got a Grand Slam - undoubtedly one of the favourites for the World Cup."

Meanwhile, co-host Ben Kay claimed Conor Murray as "the best in the world".

"I think Murray is the best in the world," said Kay.

"Not necessarily someone like Aaron Smith, who might have glitzy play to him, but in terms of a nine that manages the game. His box kicking is absolutely superb, which they've built a lot of the foundations for some of their performances over the years on; the speed that he gets the ball to Sexton or the forward carriers' hands is as quick as anyone.

"He manages the referee perfectly, not by chomping at him and screaming at him, but because he plays so fast all the time and as soon as it's not coming the hands come out and he goes 'where is it? I can't see it'. And then the referee gives a penalty...Murray controls the agenda at the breakdown."

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