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Joey Carbery explains controversial decision with final kick of Ireland's defeat to Japan at Rugby World Cup

Joey Carbery (l) looks on as the Japan team celebrate victory.
Joey Carbery (l) looks on as the Japan team celebrate victory.

By Cian Tracey

Joey Carbery admitted that he was purely thinking of snatching a losing bonus point at the end-game of Ireland's stunning 19-12 defeat to Japan.

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The Ireland out-half went for a big clearing kick which found touch, rather than just putting the ball dead behind him.

The gong had sounded to signal that the 80 minutes were up, which Carbery had heard and although he felt that his side were capable of going the length of the pitch to snatch a draw, he thought better of it.

"I suppose we were under pressure and there wasn't too much happening at the time," a disappointed Carbery explained afterwards.

"The ball kinda came quickly to me. I knew we were still in with a losing bonus point and I didn't see too many other options on, so I just put it out.

"I didn't hear anything (calls from team-mates) but I suppose the ball got turned over so quickly and like I said, I haven't seen it back. At the time, I thought it was the best option."

Joe Schmidt was also asked about Carbery's decision and the head coach backed his out-half's decision, as he rightly pointed to how decisive that losing bonus point could be come the end of the pool.

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"Yeah, potentially the bonus point could be really important," Schmidt maintained.

"It means that we’ve got six points from our two pool games so far, Japan have got nine and Samoa have got five. So they're the ones who've got points so far and you've got to finish in the top two.

"So, keeping that bonus point allowed us to stay in front of Samoa in the short-term and we know that Scotland will be a player and Russia will line us up in five days' time.

"As I said, those tight turnarounds are pretty tough going and we will, I suppose, have to chase a little bit now because we want to stay within a chance of topping the pool. Certainly we've got to get in the top two."

Despite kicking the ball out, Carbery admitted that he did feel his side could have rescued the situation if they attempted to run it from their own line.

"I definitely think we could have but when the ball came to me and they were up in my face," he added.

"I didn't want want to risk it with a short kick or anything like that and concede."

"I haven't looked back at it yet but at the time, I thought it was the right option."

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