Schmidt: ‘O’Brien got it wrong’

Date published: October 17 2015

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted that his flanker Sean O'Brien was in the wrong for his punch on Pascal Papé that resulted in his one-week ban.

O'Brien was suspended after a hearing in London earlier this week, with Chris Henry taking his spot for Sunday's quarter-final with Argentina.

Schmidt didn't want to dwell on the issue but conceded that O'Brien had paid the price for his action.

"I am not prepared to comment on it too much. It is something that is now in the past," said Schmidt.

"It took a lot of time preparing and going through that process. There are obviously disappointing facets of it for us.

"We knew they (France) would come out and they would physically take it to us and try to frustrate us.

"I think Sean got it wrong. He was probably over-motivated and when he was held off the ball he reacted in a way he shouldn't have. He has paid the price as have we."

Ireland are on the cusp of reaching a first-ever Rugby World Cup semi-final this weekend and having looked back on the fortunes of the sides of the past, Schmidt believes his group have that extra edge to advance.

"I think Irish teams have been well prepared in the past and haven't quite got over the line. I think the Irish team at the last World Cup were well prepared and at the end of the day, they were incredibly disappointed," he added.

"We will be too if we lose. I guess the group have demonstrated that in adversity they can respond and there is something in the Irish psyche that if you are beaten around a little bit, there is a resilience and resolve that gets demonstrated.

"I am really confident that that will be demonstrated on Sunday. Is that going to be enough? We will have to wait and see."