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Johnny Sexton Blasts Criticism Over His High Tackling As 'Crazy Talk'

Johnny Sexton Blasts Criticism Over His High Tackling As 'Crazy Talk'
By Conor O'Leary

It's perhaps no surprise that Johnny Sexton isn't pleased with outside criticism. Especially when he's labelled for being a 'concussion risk' from people who aren't doctors. A lot of people point to Sexton's high tackling technique as a reason why he's 'susceptible' to concussions.

"It’s waffle." according to Sexton, and when you hear his reasoning why - he's got a point. Tackling low and getting a knee in the head is much more dangerous than hitting someone high. Sexton says that he goes high because it's more effective. It slows players down by preventing offloads - and improved his game after Les Kiss was brought into the Irish set-up.

I thought that one was put to bed. All of sudden it’s become a big issue. For some reason people are linking it to head knocks. Crazy talk. Surely you’ve got more chance of being hit in the head if you dive at someone’s knees than you do tackling somebody high.

Sexton trying to tackle George North low - and getting injured in the process

As long as one person who never played the game says ‘oh, he’s more susceptible’ it’s gospel. It’s waffle. Tackling high is nothing to do with getting hit in the head. I feel that sometimes I tackle better high.

I can show you times where I’ve gotten hurt trying to tackle low, I can show you bad examples of me trying to tackle low.

Once upon a time I was criticised that I couldn’t tackle, it’s funny how things can go from that to people then saying ‘oh, you tackle too much’. I just go out and try to play my best and give it my all. It’s very hard to tell other people to defend if you’re not doing it yourself.

There's no doubt that Sexton is back to his fiery self. While a number of fans and pundits were angry at the shots he took from France and Italy over the course of the Six Nations - there's only one tackle that he took issue with, and it's one he got criticised for:

The only one that I was a little bit angry about was the Scottish one where I got tipped upside down. You could see I was angry by my reaction, that was the only one that I felt vulnerable, the rest I felt fine.

[Irish Times]

See Also: Johnny Sexton Angrily Fires Back At The Amateur Head-Doctors

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE


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