The Irish fly-half was accused of 'milking it' in order to get Alex Dunbar sin binned
CJ Stander has leapt to the defence of Johnny Sexton after the Irish out-half was accused of play acting in order to get an opponent sin-binned.
Scottish centre Alex Dunbar was shown a yellow after a reckless clear out at a ruck, sending Sexton tumbling and swinging momentum back in Ireland's favour.
However, fans and fellow professionals have criticised Sexton's reaction to the incident, saying that the Leinster player 'milked it'.
Maybe Dunbar shouldn't flip Sexton like that. But Sexton, please don't appeal and then hold your head after. #notfootballkid— Tom May (@TomMay1) March 19, 2016
Sexton feigning injury - poor.— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) March 19, 2016
Poor from Sexton, appealing for it then going down holding his head like a footballer.— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) March 19, 2016
Sexton playing football? Complains and then suddenly got a sore head?— Ruaridh Jackson (@ruaridh_jackson) March 19, 2016
During the game, Scotland's Peter Horne told referee Pascal Gauzere that 'he's milking it' in response to Sexton holding his head on the floor, but Stander has come out to set the record straight.
"Johnny always gets marked, and it's tough for a player like that, because he always gets the big tackles, the big knocks off the ball," he said.
"In rugby if you have an injury you stay down; if you don't, you get straight back up.
"I've got massive respect for Johnny, he's a tough guy, and a player who would never milk a penalty like that, it's just not something he'd do.
"If he has an injury he'll sit down, and that's just what happened."
Sexton was later himself binned for illegally bringing down a maul, but it had little effect on the result as Ireland won on a scoreline of 35-25 at the Aviva.