Ireland’s scrum coach, John Fogarty, has expressed concern that South African player Ox Nche may face disciplinary action following an incident in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup match, which saw Ireland triumph over South Africa with a score of 13-8. The Irish team’s victory, achieved through a converted try by Mack Hansen and penalties from Jonny Sexton and Jack Crowley, places them in a strong position in Pool B, holding a four-point lead over South Africa. However, the celebration of this win has been marred by the emergence of video footage showing Nche allegedly stamping on Irish flanker Josh van der Flier.
The video footage captures a ruck situation in which Nche appears to stand on van der Flier’s hands for several seconds before moving away. Following the incident, van der Flier is seen holding his hand in apparent pain, prompting Fogarty’s concerns about potential disciplinary action for Nche. Fogarty stated, “I’m not aware if there was a stamping or not. I’m sure World Rugby will be looking across everything, referees will be looking across everything.” He emphasized that the disciplinary board would review the incident, but noted that at the moment, van der Flier did not appear to have sustained any significant injuries.
Ireland’s next match, against Scotland, will determine their position at the top of the Pool. A win in this game would secure their place in the quarter-finals, where they would face one of the runners-up from Pool A, namely France, Italy, or New Zealand.
Despite the gap between their final pool stage match and the upcoming clash with Scotland, Fogarty remains confident in his team’s ability to secure victory. However, he cautioned against over-celebration, recognizing that the upcoming match would be a challenging test. Fogarty shared, “It’s important, isn’t it? To make sure we’re aware that that was a big win and we’re obviously delighted with it.”
He also described the atmosphere in the dressing room after the match, highlighting the camaraderie and the absence of outside distractions. Fogarty mentioned that the team spent time discussing their respective opponents and performances. He added, “We enjoyed that time together in the dressing room.”
Acknowledging the importance of staying focused on the upcoming match against Scotland, Fogarty noted Scotland’s steady improvement and their upcoming fixtures. He concluded, “We’re very clear on Scotland, they’ve improved year on year, and they play today, they’ll play Romania next week, and they’ll be looking to get a win.”
In summary, Ireland’s victory over South Africa has raised concerns about a potential disciplinary action against Ox Nche for an alleged stamping incident on Josh van der Flier. Despite their triumph, the Irish team remains focused on their next match against Scotland and is wary of underestimating their opponents in the Rugby World Cup.