Joe Schmidt: Referee not to blame after Dominic Ryan incident

Ireland flanker Dominic Ryan
Dominic Ryan was making his Ireland debut

Joe Schmidt exonerated referee JP Doyle of any blame after Georgia flanker Viktor Kolelishvili went unpunished for treading on Dominic Ryan's face during Ireland's 49-7 win in Dublin on Sunday.

Kolelishvili is expected to be cited after his boot connected with Leinster back row Ryan's face after a ruck.

Doyle waved away Ireland skipper Eoin Reddan's request for a review by the Television Match Official.

"According to the protocol I think he acted correctly," said coach Schmidt.

"I think the protocol is that if there is suspected foul play the TMO can intervene, he can let the referee know and then the referee can review it.

"Obviously the incident had passed, and I think by the time Eoin spoke to the referee the game had moved on a little bit, and he heard nothing from the TMO."

Schmidt said the incident "didn't look great" but "rugby is a game where things happen".

He added: "It is one of those things we'll have a look at and I don't think we'll be the only ones.

"But I'm pretty keen just to move on from it and leave it on the pitch."

Georgia's Kiwi boss Milton Haig conceded Kolelishvili may face disciplinary action.

"I certainly saw it on the replay," said Haig. "I know Viktor and he certainly wouldn't be doing anything like that intentionally.

"We'll have to wait to hear from the citing commissioner."

A virtual Ireland reserve team scored six tries in the second half to see off a dogged Georgia side.

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