Joe Schmidt: Ireland coach quiet on All Blacks physicality after Dublin defeat

Referee Jaco Peyler yellow cards New Zealand centre Malakai Fekitoa
Malakai Fekitoa (number 13) was one of two All Blacks to be sin-binned

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt kept his own counsel on New Zealand's physicality as the All Blacks avenged their defeat in Chicago by winning 21-9 in Dublin.

Johnny Sexton (hamstring), Robbie Henshaw, CJ Stander and Rob Kearney (all head injuries) are major doubts for next weekend's game with Australia.

New Zealand's approach appeared to step over the line at times but Schmidt was circumspect after Saturday's defeat.

"We don't control that," the New Zealand-born Ireland coach told RTE.

"We've just got to forge ahead with who we had left once once those guys had been knocked around. That's all we can do.

Cathal Pendred on Twitter
Actor and former mixed martial artist Cathal Pendred felt Sexton had prevented Beauden Barrett's second New Zealand try

"Jonathan Sexton has a hamstring issue and we will have an update on his situation either on Sunday or Monday.

"Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw and CJ Stander will all undergo HIA [head injury assessment]."

Schmidt added that the contest had been a "pretty physical encounter" but that was the extent of his verdict on New Zealand's physicality.

Henshaw carried off after high hit

Robbie Henshaw's neck was put in a brace before he was taken off
Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw was forced off early on after a controversial high challenge by Sam Cane

Centre Henshaw had to be carried off with his neck in a brace after only 10 minutes following a high shoulder from New Zealand flanker Sam Cane.

A number of other Irish players were also on the receiving end of high challenges, and captain Rory Best queried several referee calls out on the field.

These included Jaco Peyper's decision to award New Zealand's second try, in spite of the suspicion that Sexton had prevented Beauden Barrett from grounding the ball.

However, both Schmidt and Best refused to be drawn into a critique of Peyper's performance following the game.

"I thought we probably didn't get the rub of the green on one or two calls, but that's something that can be a distraction," said Schmidt.

"We'll leave that to the authorities, we'll feed our feedback through the appropriate channels."

Rory Best talks to referee Jaco Peyper during Ireland's defeat by New Zealand
Ireland captain Rory Best queried several decisions made by referee Jaco Peyler

Best left 'frustrated and annoyed' by defeat

Schmidt added that he was "proud" of his players efforts to earn a second win over the All Blacks in two weeks but skipper Best spoke of his "frustration and annoyance".

Ireland dominated possession and territory during most the contest but could not turn that into sufficient points.

"We couldn't score that try," added the Ireland captain.

"When we look back on it though we'll feel we didn't attack them enough."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen claimed that the penalty count of 14 for his team as opposed to only four for Ireland was not an accurate reflection of the play.

"I'd like to see some consistency throughout the game. I saw the same things happening to us," said the New Zealand coach.

As for double try-scorer Malakai Fekitoa's yellow card, when he swung his arm into Simon Zebo's neck as the Irish winger sprinted down the left touchline, Hansen called it "sloppy play, not malicious".

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