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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Ireland refuse to criticise Georgian flanker for foot on Ryan's face

Viktor Kolelishvili’s boot made contact with the eye of Ireland’s debutant back row.

Ryan was happy that Kolelishvili's actions were not deliberate.
Ryan was happy that Kolelishvili's actions were not deliberate.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND’S DOMINIC RYAN, Eoin Reddan and Joe Schmidt refused to be drawn into condemning the actions of Georgia flanker Viktor Kolelishvili after his boot made contact with Ryan’s face in the first half of the November Test in Dublin.

Reddan asked referee JP Doyle to look at the incident during Ireland’s 49-7 victory at the Aviva Stadium, but the RFU match official underlined that he could not go back to review any potential foul play.

“Basically, I asked him to have a look at it and he said he wasn’t in a position to do so,” said Reddan post-match.

“Dominic’s eye was sore. He asked me to ask the referee to have a look at it. I asked the ref and he said he wasn’t in a position to do that at the moment. I haven’t had the benefit of being able to see the replay, so I can’t give you an honest answer on that [whether it was potentially a deliberate act].”

Schmidt was content that Doyle had adhered to the official IRB protocols in this case, pointing out the the Dublin-born referee was not entitled to retrospectively examine the incident after the game had moved on.

Asked for his opinion on the incident, Schmidt suggested that Kolelishvili’s actions may be reviewed by the citing commisioner, Buster White of the RFU.

I saw a snapshot of it, so I don’t know how it occured,” said Schmidt. ”It didn’t look great at the end of it, but I didn’t see how it occured.

“Rugby is a game where things can happen. It’s one of those things that we’ll have a look at. I don’t think we’re the only ones who will have a look at it. For me, I’m pretty keen to move on from it and leave it on the pitch.”

Ryan himself suggested that the Georgian back row did not intend to cause damage, although he did point out the recklessness of Kolelishvili’s foot placement.

“I don’t know if it was intentional. I doubt it was intentional to be honest,” said Ryan. “Maybe it was a bit reckless, he said he couldn’t go to the big screen, but look, that’s rugby.

It was just that it was directly in my eye. I don’t think it was intentional, it was a mistake. He was just coming through the ruck so I can’t hold anything against him.”

Georgia head coach Milton Haig underlined his belief that there was no deliberate action on Clermont flanker Kolelishvili’s part, before stating that White had not yet made contact with the Lelos’ management team.

“We saw it on the replay in the [coaches'] box. I know Vito and he wouldn’t be doing anything like that intentionally, that’s for sure. I’m not sure, we haven’t heard anything from the citing commissioner yet.

“So we just have to wait and see if anything comes to fruition.”

In pics: Ireland score six second-half tries to thump Georgia

Schmidt: First-half efforts laid foundation for Ireland’s second-half tries

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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