Search icon


15th Oct 2023

Johnny Sexton fumes at All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane in post-match exchange

Niall McIntyre

Johnny Sexton and New Zealand centre Rieko Ioane exchanged cross words after Ireland’s loss to New Zealand.

The All Blacks defeated Ireland 28-24 to book their place in next weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina.

Ireland endured a ropy start to the game and were ultimately forced to pay the price for falling 13-0 behind in the first twenty minutes of the game. Andy Farrell’s side did fight back, and reduced to margin to just one point at half-time, when the score was 18-17, but Ian Foster’s side were never headed from there.

A run-away second half try from Will Jordan gave New Zealand yet another buffer in the game, and some dogged late defending saw them over the line.

Ronan Kelleher almost scored a crucial try for Ireland late on, but Jordie Barrett miraculously held him up and New Zealand held on for their second successive Rugby World Cup quarter final win over Ireland.

It meant for a disappointing end for Johnny Sexton, with this having long been ear-marked as his last tournament as a professional rugby player.

After the game, the out half hailed his team-mates and said that they will onto achieve great things.

“They are an incredible bunch led by the man beside me (Andy Farrell). It’s the best group I have ever been apart of. Bar none,” he told reporters.

“These guys will go on and achieve great things and I’ll be sitting in the stand having a pint like you lads.”

All Blacks captain Sam Cane also hailed Sexton after the game.

“He’s been outstanding for Ireland for a very long time. As long as I’ve been playing against Ireland, he’s been there,” said Cane.

“He’s very good at taking the ball to the line, and his decision making. He directs that team and steers them around. The fact that he’s been able to play at the top level for so long is an absolute testament to him and his character, without knowing him too well personally.

“Anyone who’s able to do that, it says a heck of a lot about them. So yeah, congratulations Johnny, on an outstanding career.”

There was a clash between Sexton and Ioane in the immediate aftermath of the game, however, as you can see below.

It has since transpired that seeing Ioane cup his ears and shush the Irish crowd was what tipped Sexton over the edge, as you’ll see below.

What do yo think Ioane said to Sexton?
byu/Dolamite09 inrugbyunion

Less than half an hour later, Ioane continued with the goading by placing his finger to his lips in the All Blacks dressing room.

Related articles:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?