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‘Don’t be scared Johnny’ – Romain Poite eased Sexton’s fears over quick kick


Referee Romain Poite had to assure Johnny Sexton that he would not allow Scotland to take a quick penalty after telling the Ireland captain to talk to his team.

Sexton was understandably wary of bringing his team together for a chat with Scotland having penalty advantage in Ireland‘s 22, after the events in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago.

England captain Owen Farrell was left incensed by referee Pascal Gauzere during their game with Wales, after Dan Biggar was allowed to take a quick penalty while the majority of English players were still grouped together.

Biggar took full advantage of the situation, executing a perfectly-weight cross-field kick which resulted in Josh Adams going over for a try in the corner, who was left in acres of space on the left wing.

‘Please Johnny, don’t be scared’

That incident was obviously playing on both the minds of Poite and Sexton, as the referee assured the Ireland captain that he would notify them before resuming play.

“Please Johnny, don’t be scared. I will come back when it’s quiet, okay? But have a word with your players about repeated infringements next to the try line,” Poite told Sexton.

Still not entirely convinced, Sexton asked for Poite to give him a second before he eventually pulled his team around him to speak about Ireland’s repeated infringements.

The comical moment aside, Poite had a very good day officiating the game at Murrayfield, showing no fear over getting up close and personal with players from each team that dwarf the Frenchman in stature.

Poite went above and beyond to get a clear view of Tadhg Beirne’s try, sticking his head right in the midst of the mound of bodies to ensure that the ball had been grounded.

The 45-year-old referee was also bowled over on a couple of occasions after getting caught in the midst of traffic, but happily got up both times and continued to do his job.

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