Stephen Ward declared himself satisfied that Ireland were able to keep Gareth Bale under control after the Wales star failed to impose himself during the stalemate at the Aviva.
The Real Madrid man was reduced to a couple of long-range efforts as Chris Coleman’s side struggled to break down Ireland’s defence, which was missing regulars Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark through injury.
Indeed, the ex-Tottenham forward could have seen red and was lucky when, already on a yellow card for a sliding tackle on John O’Shea, escaped punishment for a high challenge on man of the match James McClean.
We need your consent to load this Facebook contentWe use Facebook to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
Asked about the task of tracking Bale, Ward told RTÉ Sport: “We said during the week that you are not going to keep him quiet for 90 minutes.
“There were glimpses where he showed his quality, I think in the whole of the game we kept him pretty much in front of us.
“Thankfully his influence wasn’t as big as it can be.”
Bale had a chance to win it late on but fired just wide. Ward emphasised the competitive nature of the game.
“To be honest I’d have to see [a replay of the O’Shea incident].
Chris Coleman gives his verdict on a tempestuous clash in Dublin #RTEsoccer #IRLvWAL pic.twitter.com/OP6mKSXT0V— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 24, 2017
“John was always favourite to get it, there was always going to be that derby feeling and there was going to be tackles here and there and unfortunately Seamus has been on the end of a bad one. Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery.
“It was one of them games, nitty gritty, a bit like and English league game.”