Schmidt hails perfectionist Sexton

Schmidt hails perfectionist Sexton

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt hailed Jonny Sexton as a perfectionist after his astute game management helped the Irish to a 50-7 World Cup demolition of Canada on Saturday.

Sexton notched up 14 points from a try, three conversions and a penalty to take his tally from internationals past 500.

But it was more his kicking from hand and willingness to unleash his free-running backs that had not just Schmidt but also Canada coach Kieran Crowley waxing lyrical.

The playmaker was at the heart of everything in the 55 minutes he played, instrumental in four tries for a 29-0 half-time lead that proved the bedrock of a convincing Pool D victory as the Canadians ran out of steam and conceded three more tries in the second period.

“I felt he played really well today,” Schmidt said.

“He played 55 minutes to get man of the match, so he’s reasonably happy with that.

“He passed 500 points in international rugby which is a real milestone for him and something he hugely deserved for all the effort he puts to making sure he’s well prepared.”

Crowley, like Schmidt a New Zealander and the sole coach among the 20 present to have won a World Cup – with the All Blacks in 1987 – added: “He’s not one of the most well paid rugby players in the world for nothing, is he?!

“His salary is the same as ours put together.

“Jonny’s got a good kicking game and gets the backs going so well, the team running so well.”

Crowley added: “He has good game management, and always creates a threat because he has a kicking threat and a running threat.

“He’s a pretty competent 10 which any team in the world would be happy to have in their side.

“And his goal kicking is obviously an added bonus.

“He controlled the game pretty well from a management perspective today.”

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