Wednesday 21 February 2018

Video: Schmidt refuses to blame Mike Brown as Conor Murray receives stitches following kicks to the head

Conor Murray needed stitches after clash with Mike Brown
Conor Murray needed stitches after clash with Mike Brown

Joe Schmidt refused to point the finger of blame at Mike Brown after the Englishman kicked Conor Murray in the head during yesterday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

After Mike Brown's boot appeared to make contact with his face on several occasions, Murray was forced from the action with 10 minutes remaining of Ireland's 21-10 defeat.

It was a scene that replayed time and again on television screens, as the TMO poured over the incident which saw Brown's boot swing like pendulum against the face of a grounded Murray, before it was deemed accidental.

“They have people who look at those things and I have never, ever tried to influence that but it's something I’ll look back on because Conor has stitches close to his eye,” Schmidt said. “I know that Mike Brown wouldn’t have done it on purpose, he was trying to connect with the ball, but it’s not something for us to influence whether he was culpable for being reckless or whatever.”

England boss Eddie Jones added that he felt it was a "fair" challenge.

“The referee adjudicated on it mate,” Jones said. “It was fair. If ball is on the ground then you are allowed to kick it aren’t you? Was the ball on the ground? If it wasn’t on the ground then where was it? If you have been tackled then you can play the ball.

“The referee didn’t think it was reckless. Why should I give my opinion? If I say something about the referee then tomorrow’s headlines are “Jones complains about the referee” so I am not going to give an opinion.”

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