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18th Jun 2018

‘I can’t understand the rants’ – Wallabies called out over Healy and Sexton complaints

Patrick McCarry

Will Genia has been replaced in the Australia squad by Waratahs scrum-half Jake Gordon.

Ireland’s players will be enjoying a couple of days ‘off feet’ [away from the training pitches] as they rest up their bodies for the final push against the Wallabies in Sydney. Cian Healy sustained an AC [shoulder] knock in Ireland’s 26-21 victory but he is faring a lot better than Genia.

The Wallabies No.9 took an awkward fall after being bumped by Healy as he tried to zip around the back of a lineout to join an attacking foray. Post-match, Australia head coach Michael Cheika lamented the incident after it left Genia with a broken arm.

“Will got king hit from the side, it looked like a shoulder, and when you’re not expecting it that’s what happened…. I’m not sure who it was but they jammed his arm and broke it.”

Additional video footage put the heat on Healy but he has been back from an unlikely quarter – an old Munster adversary and an Aussie to boot.

Paul Warwick joined The Hard Yards and gave his backing to the Leinster loose-head [from 23:00], despite admitting he does occasionally push his luck.

FOX Sports unearthed a wider camera angle after initial TV footage missed the Healy/Genia collision. It looks as if the fall, more so than the contact, did the damage.

Genia will be out for at least six weeks and may miss a large chunk of the upcoming Rugby Championship.

“I was talking about it [the Genia incident] with a colleague today and I can’t understand the rants,” says Warwick.

“My friend’s main explanation, to me, was that the main incident happened out of camera but, from what I saw, it was a brush.

“Having played against Cian Healy myself, I know he’s got the potential to be a dirty player, but there was nothing in it.

“In my opinion, it was a bit of a deflection and using a tactic to shift some blame or put a bit of pressure on Ireland. But there was nothing in it, in my opinion. It’s a contact sport and I think people forget that sometimes so… deal with it, as far as I’m concerned.”

Kevin McLaughlin, who played with Healy for Leinster and Ireland, believes Cheika was just “sickened” at having lost such an influential and in-form player, in Genia. “He has been on fire. Probably as good as I’ve seen him in all the time I’ve watched him play. He’ll be a big loss.”

Cheika, McLaughlin adds, will not truly feel Healy will be banned for the final Test.

The Australians look to have moved on to a new bug-bear, anyway. Assistant coach Stephen Larkham has openly questioned Ireland’s tactics, last weekend, of blocking Israel Folau’s runs and attempts to reach aerial clearances.

Johnny Sexton and Garry Ringrose were effective at “funnelling” Folau into traffic and his running threat was definitely negated.

Three-Test series always bring bad blood. That’s why we love them.