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France coach Saint-André is not happy about SOB's 'attack' on Papé

The Ireland back row struck the France lock early in yesterday’s game.

Murray Kinsella reports from Cardiff

FRANCE COACH PHILIPPE Saint-André believes Sean O’Brien should have been punished for his “attack” on Pascal Papé in Ireland’s World Cup win in Cardiff yesterday.

Sean OÕBrien with Wesley Fofana Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Ireland back row was not penalised during the game for an incident off the ball in which he struck the French lock.

“It was an attack after 23 seconds of the game,” Saint-André told French reporters.

“I hope that the TMO will do his job the next time.”

The France coach shared his frustration at the fact that referee Nigel Owens and television match official Graham Hughes had not highlighted the incident during the game.

“We have come back to the images (replays) with every action since the start of the World Cup. That wasn’t the case here. For us, we focus on what we can control, and we can’t control that.”

Speaking after yesterday’s game, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said he is hopeful that O’Brien is not facing a ban, stating that his flanker was held off the ball. Schmidt also said he believed O’Brien’s fist wasn’t closed then he struck Papé.

Citings can be made by the citing commissioner within 36 hours of the end of any World Cup game, meaning that Ireland and O’Brien will be waiting anxiously until tomorrow morning in the hope that no citing is forthcoming.

“We are all aware of the incident obviously,” said Ireland team manager Mick Kearney this morning.

“The citing officer has 36 hours to cite. We haven’t heard anything from the match officials at this stage and any further comment would be inappropriate at the moment.”

Suspensions for striking another player with the hand, arm or fist carry a low-end entry point of two weeks. The mid-range entry point is five weeks and the top-end begins at 12 weeks.

If O’Brien is to be cited for the incident with Papé, Ireland would hope for a low-end two weeks, possibly with a week taken off for what they will argue as mitigating factors and a strong recent disciplinary record.

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Murray Kinsella

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