Wednesday 21 February 2018

'I was very tempted to put up my hand and take Joe Schmidt to task': Paul Kimmage on the 'forgotten' issue after Ireland's win

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland finished off their autumn series with an impressive win over Australia last Saturday, sealing a historic clean sweep of the southern hemisphere big three in the process.

The 27-24 victory over the Wallabies followed June's first ever win on South African soil and the famous scalp of the All Blacks after 111 years in Chicago, which leaves Ireland in an ideal position heading into the Six Nations.

Read more: Comment: After a week where rugby's violence was under the microscope, Keith Earls' comments were simply mind-boggling

The only blemish on the autumn calendar was a 21-9 loss to New Zealand in Dublin, which was marred by a number of dangerous tackles.

Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa were cited for challenges on Robbie Henshaw and Simon Zebo, with the Ireland centre carted off on a stretcher after the incident.

Sunday Independent journalist Paul Kimmage was present at the Aviva Stadium on the night, telling Matt Cooper on The Last Word in the aftermath that rugby is in 'serious trouble' over the issue of dangerous tackles.

Kimmage was a guest on the Today FM show again this evening, and spoke of his displeasure that Ireland's fantastic win over Australia seemed to bury the conversation about reckless challenges.

Kimmage attended the post-match press conference at the Aviva Stadium and admitted that he strongly considered raising the problem with Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

"I was at the game Saturday and it was absolutely tremendous, does that mean that I come away and I don't have issues?," Kimmage said to Cooper.

"I went to the press conference afterwards and I was very tempted to put up my hand and take Joe Schmidt to task for the fact that everything that happened last week had been forgotten about.

"The ridiculously paltry justice that was dished out by the citing commissioner. I mean, c'mon, that doesn't help anyone. It doesn't help the game and it is too easy to move on to Australia and the great game."

Kimmage has written at length about the use painkillers in rugby as well as the problems surrounding concussion and dangerous tackles, and insisted to Cooper that he 'will continue to raise these issues' going forward.

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