Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton has felt the full wrath of the media and fans, but more significantly current and former players after his playacting against Scotland on Saturday. Sexton was flipped illegally, but his football style theatrics did not go unnoticed.
Scotland centre Alex Dunbar flipped the Irish number ten over in a dangerous manner, but the way that Sexton reacted to it is what has annoyed so many.
Sexton feigning injury – poor.
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) March 19, 2016
Most agreed with the decision to yellow card him, although former England captain Mike Tindall had a different take on it, saying: “Sometimes this game annoys me, penalty I could have lived with there but it’s not a yellow especially with Sexton’s play acting”
Sexton hit the ground, appealed to the referee and then held his head, even though he clearly didn’t land on it. A yellow card was the result, but Sexton’s actions have copped him a lot of flak.
Come on sexton we are not footballers.
— Lewis Moody (@LewisMoody7) March 19, 2016
Poor from Sexton, appealing for it then going down holding his head like a footballer.
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) March 19, 2016
Think sexton would make a good footballer with that reaction #????
— matt banahan (@mattbanahan1) March 19, 2016
As soon as it happened, Scotland scrumhalf Peter Horne could be heard telling referee Pascal Gauzere “He’s milking it”, while off the field, the condemnation continued on twitter.
Maybe Dunbar shouldn’t flip Sexton like that. But Sexton, please don’t appeal and then hold your head after. #notfootballkid
— Tom May (@TomMay1) March 19, 2016
Interesting sexton could appeal before he went down injured.
— Kelly Brown (@kellydrbrown) March 19, 2016
Sunday morning. Jonny Sexton wakes up with a hangover. Instinctively, he rolls about clutching his head and appeals to the ref for a penalty
— Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) March 20, 2016
Since then, Ireland teammate CJ Stander has said that there is no way that someone like Sexton would fake injury. “He’s a tough player and he will never milk a penalty like that.
“I’ve got massive respect for him. It’s not something he will do. If he’s injured, he has to sit down, and it happened. He always gets marked and it’s tough on a player like that because he always gets the big tackles, after the ball.. This is rugby, you don’t milk it – if you have an injury, you lie down.”
Former professional player Liam Toland also defended Sexton, from an interesting angle.
“I would certainly forgive him for his act. If anyone in northern rugby has an entitlement to throw his hands up and have a tantrum it is him. He has been absolutely brutalised in the Six Nations.”
View more cringeworthy examples of play-acting in the Related Posts below this
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