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Schmidt: It's pretty devastating for Bundee but hard to argue with red

The Ireland centre paid the ultimate price for his high hit on Samoan out-half Ulupano Seuteni.

Aki saw red in the first half.
Aki saw red in the first half.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT ADMITS ‘it’s hard to argue’ with Nic Berry’s decision to send Bundee Aki off during Ireland’s seven-try win over Samoa, as the centre faces being banned for the rest of the World Cup.

Aki became the first Irish player to be sent off at a World Cup when he saw red for a high hit on Samoan out-half Ulupano Seuteni in the 29th minute of Ireland’s 47-5 win on Saturday.

Although Schmidt’s side played 51 minutes with 14 men, Ireland emphatically booked their place in next weekend’s quarter-finals, where they will either meet New Zealand or South Africa.

But Connacht centre Aki is set to miss the rest of Ireland’s campaign in Japan after his dismissal, unless he avoids further punishment at a disciplinary hearing.

“We are happy with the result and a number of things about the performance but we are disappointed we didn’t manage to finish the game with 15 players,” Schmidt said post-match.

We’ll look at that and try to come up with what we believe is some reasoning behind that.

When asked about the referee’s decision, Schmidt added: “I’ll have to review it and have a really close look. I rate Nic Berry, I think he’s a very good referee.

“The TMO, Rowan Kitt, is a very good operator so it’s hard to argue with at the moment but it’s pretty devastating for Bundee.

“He knows a lot of the Samoan players very well, they’ve got a lot of respect for him. For us it’s a really disappointing finish for the night.”

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