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Schmidt keeps cool over NZ referee

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/06/2016

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won't be drawn on the performance of referee - and fellow-New Zealander - Glen Jackson following their 19-13 loss to South Africa in the decisive third Test.

Jackson chose to issue Springboks fullback Willie le Roux with only a yellow card for a dangerous collision with Tiernan O'Halloran in a key moment of a Test which secured the series 2-1 to the hosts.

It comes two weeks after Ireland loose forward CJ Stander was shown a red card for a high challenge on Pat Lambie in the tourists' opening win in Cape Town.

Stander was subsequently banned for the second Test defeat.

However, Jackson opted for leniency after O'Halloran was upended in the air and landed awkwardly in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Connacht star needed a head injury assessment and although he passed and returned to the field, he was replaced at halftime as a result of a rib injury he picked up in the incident.

Despite the apparent inconsistency in the officiating across the series, Schmidt kept his counsel on the call.

"I don't really make comments on those incidents, other people deal with them," he said.

"I probably would still say we were disappointed with CJ's red card in the first game.

"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."

At the end of a 17-Test, 52-week season, Schmidt's overriding emotion was one of disappointment that his team could not get the job done.

"I'm massively disappointed," he said.

"But when you don't get what you're looking for, you're always going to be disappointed particularly when it was such a fine margin at the end of it."

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