Saint-Andre slams TMO for missing O'Brien 'assault'

AFP

Philippe Saint-Andre has vented his fury at the television match official (TMO) who missed Sean O'Brien's "assault" on France lock Pascal Pape in Monday's (AEDT) Rugby World Cup Pool D decider.

O'Brien was not punished at the time despite appearing to punch Pape in the chest off the ball in the opening minute of Ireland's 24-9 victory in Cardiff, but was cited on Tuesday and could face a suspension.

Flanker O'Brien went on to play a key role in Ireland's victory at the Millennium Stadium, which ensured it will face Argentina in the quarter-finals and France will take on New Zealand.

France coach Saint-Andre was baffled that TMO Graham Hughes failed to take action against O'Brien.

"It was an assault after 23 seconds of the game," Saint-Andre said. "I hope the next time the TMO will really do his job. Since the beginning of the competition on whatever matter is concerned, try or injury, we return to a review of the images.

"In this case they do no such thing."

Ireland added Rhys Ruddock to its squad after Peter O'Mahony was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury. 

Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton remain under observation after also suffering injuries against France.