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Joe Schmidt Questions Angus Gardner's Refereeing In His Own Polite, Respectful Way

Joe Schmidt Questions Angus Gardner's Refereeing In His Own Polite, Respectful Way
By Donny Mahoney
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One of the big talking points from Ireland's frustrating defeat to Japan was the performance of referee Angus Gardner. The penalty count finished 9-6 in favour to Japan and in that pivotal third quarter when Japan roared into the lead, Gardner's refereeing of the offside rule was absolutely maddening. You can appreciate that full-blooded Japan performance while admitting Gardner was incredibly harsh on Ireland., especially in the second half.

Joe Schmidt will no doubt lay into Ireland during the video session this week, but his polite and subtle criticism of Gardner was notable after the match. In two post-match interviews, Schmidt brought up the four offsides penalties that Ireland were whistled for.

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'Watching the monitor, they were some pretty tough calls.,' Schmidt said on RTE. Keith Earls was asked to comment on the refereeing afterwards and struggled for five seconds to speak before taking the high road.

Schmidt had notably brought up Gardner's performance the last time he reffed Ireland in prematch interviews.

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"Obviously last time we had Angus it wasn't great for us," said Schmidt. "We didn't play particularly well but we didn't feel we got a lot of the rub of the green either.' (emphasis ours)

Gardner was lambasted across social media by (mostly) Irish fans.

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