Joe Schmidt reacts to Joey Carbery's decision to kick for touch in overtime

Joe Schmidt has backed Joey Carbery for electing to kick for touch, a decision that ended the game and confirmed Ireland’s shock defeat to Japan.

The world No.1 ranked side were trailing 19-12 and camped deep in their own half when the gong sounded to indicate the 80 minutes had elapsed and the next stoppage of play would be the final one.

But instead of passing the ball wide and trying to run the length of the field to score a try and a conversion to secure a draw, Carbery calmly punted the ball into touch, allowing referee Angus Gardner to blow the final whistle and trigger celebrations across the country of Japan.

Ireland fans were quick to tear into Carbery, either for failing to realise the game was over or refusing to believe that it was possible to go up the other end and score.

However, coach Schmidt was quick to back his back-up fly-half, suggesting that the risk of falling further behind in the game and sacrificing the losing bonus point was not worth the reward of a two-point draw.

‘The bonus point could be important,’ Schmidt said. ‘It allows us to stay in front of Samoa short term.

‘We’ve no doubt Scotland will be a player. Russia will line us up.’

Schmidt’s side must now beat Samoa and Russia to progress and hope Scotland can bounce back from a 27-3 defeat against Ireland and beat the competition hosts.

And while Schmidt did back Carbery’s performance as a replacement for the last 20 minutes, he also admitted that injury doubt Johnny Sexton would be back for the Russia game, barring any setbacks in training.

‘The plan was to bring Johnny back against Russia anyway,’ Schmidt added.

‘But we need to be able to go to the squad. In the last World Cup, we got through to the play-offs and we were a little bit decimated.

‘This time, we decided we needed to make sure that the whole squad were utilised in the lead-up to the play-offs if we can make it there.

‘Now we’re scrambling a little bit. We’ve got to make sure we get a result against Russia and Samoa will be another challenge for us.’

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