Ireland's Johnny Sexton thinks New Zealand will need to be more disciplined in Rugby World Cup quarter-final
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Last Updated: 19/10/19 10:46am
Ireland stand-off Johnny Sexton has warned New Zealand that any repeat of their strong-arm tactics from Dublin in 2016 will lead to red cards in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
British and Irish Lions fly-half Sexton believes Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa avoiding straight dismissals in New Zealand's 21-9 win in Dublin three years ago sparked the sport's current crackdown on high tackles.
Sexton does not think the All Blacks will be able to risk repeating that level of physicality - although he is expecting another gruelling encounter.
"I'm sure that's what they'll be speaking about going into this game, to go into it at full-tilt," said Sexton.
"As far as that second game in 2016 went, that was almost the turning point for a lot of the rule changes about high tackles.
"Some of the yellow cards that were given out and some things that were missed, they would be reds now.
"They probably weren't intentional at the time but, if they happened now, there would be different consequences. So I don't think it will happen again.
"They had a game recently when they went down to 14 against Australia, so I'm sure they will be very disciplined on the day."
Sexton was Ireland's only player to train at the Tokyo Stadium on Friday, with the rest of boss Joe Schmidt's match squad completing their session at their training base.
"I just didn't want to break routine before a big game," said Sexton.
"I've never not kicked at a stadium the day before a game, so I wasn't going to start something new now.
"I had the bus to myself, and I had the pitch to myself, which was a bit strange.
"But I was able to chill out on the bus and I'll do the same on the way back."
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