Just when things had settled down, Irish rugby icon Paul O'Connell has reopened the Great Dublin Debate about the All Blacks' tactics, saying the world champions 'did go over the edge' against Ireland.

O'Connell, a former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain, delved into the controversy this week on a podcast as the Irish confronted World Rugby's judiciary committee clearing Sam Cane of an illegal play in an incident that led to Irish midfield back Robbie Henshaw being stretchered off while Malakai Fekitoa received a one-week suspension for a clumsy high tackle.

Speaking to the Second Captains podcast on the Irish Independent website, O'Connell said that while he doesn't think the tackles were premeditated attempts to attack Irish players, Fekitoa and Cane should have been shown a red and yellow card respectively.

But at least O'Connell was balanced. He pointed to some incidents that the All Blacks can feel upset about including Johnny Sexton's tackle on Beauden Barrett but suggested that the pressure to perform caused some All Blacks to 'go over the edge'.


"They were under a bit of pressure and they did go over the edge," the former locking star told host Eoin McDevitt.

"A lot of teams do it. I suppose it shows that the pressure gets to everyone. They really needed to win and they really wanted to win, and in trying to do that they went over the edge. I've been part of teams that have done it before and I've done it myself before.

"It just goes to show that they're human."