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Published: 10:46 | 26/6/16

Schmidt refuses to blame loss on Le Roux call

Inconsistency in referee decisions in test series

Joe Schmidt has refused to point the finger of blame at referee Glen Jackson for Ireland's narrow 19-13 loss to South Africa in Port Elizabeth.

The result meant Ireland lost the series to the Springboks by 2-1, narrowly missing out on a first ever series win in South Africa.

Jackson controversially decided to issue just a yellow card to Willie le Roux for a dangerous collision with Ireland's Tiernan O'Halloran; the Connacht man passed a head injury assessment after the incident but was replaced at the break with a rib injury he suffered when carelessly clattered by the South Africa full-back.

The fact that le Roux was cited after the game by commissioner James Absaloms suggests Jackson may have made an error.

CJ Stander had been shown a straight red card for a similar tackle in the first test with the Munster player subsequently banned for the second test but despite the effect this inconsistency may have had on the outcome of the series, Schmidt refused to blame the referee for the defeat, instead pointing to Irish inexperience as the decisive factor.

"I don't really make comments on those incidents, other people deal with them and I probably would still say we were disappointed with CJ's red card in the first game but I haven't got any comment to offer really on the incident this evening," he said.

"Look, we spent six hours going back through the game to deliver our referee report. We send that back and we get a bit of feedback from referees.

"We use the official channels to comment, we don't comment publicly about referee performance because they are an incredibly important part of the game, they have an incredibly difficult job to do and I think they go out to do it as best they can.

"We could probably point the finger at a few errors that we made today. We might have done enough to get over the line otherwise so referees are very human as well.

"We showed a bit of inexperience to be honest, a few times.

"What could have happened, what might have happened is something that those players will have learned.

"There's a 14-point swing just before half-time when we make a great break up the pitch, we're one pass away from putting Keith Earls away and the pass isn't efficiently delivered and we miss the opportunity with the forward pass.

"Faf de Klerk leaping to get that ball, there's not too many people around him and with a little bit of patience we could have made the most of that opportunity.

"The maul at that time was still upright and potentially could have kept going, I thought it was a great option to swing back and attack that short side with good numbers but you've got to be clinical, you've got to be efficient in your execution, because in a Test match you don't get too many invitations.

"We got a couple of nice invites tonight that we didn't turn up for."

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