Super Rugby
O'Connor denies rift between team-mates
ESPN Staff
May 24, 2015
Reds 14-21 Sharks (video available in Australia only)

James O'Connor has denied speculation there is a rift between team-mates at the Reds after Fox Sports cameras caught O'Connor and Adam Thomson in a half-time tiff during the Reds loss to the Sharks on Friday night. Entering the change rooms 9-points down to the Sharks, O'Connor and Thomson appeared to be exchanging heated words before half-back Will Genia stepped in to defuse the situation.

"Thommo is one of my best mates in the team," O'Connor told NewsCorp. "We had a bit of a disagreement about a play down the left side of the field just before half-time. That's what team-mates do sometimes ... there's not a drama."

It is believed the spat centred around a final play before half-time that saw Thomson's pass to O'Connor smothered by Sharks' defender Bismarck du Plessis before O'Connor was bundled into touch. Genia further denied any rift and shrugged off the incident.

"I have a snap like that every game. You just don't expect a camera to capture stuff like that," he said. "James and Thommo had a few words so I did make a point of talking to our young backline guys who saw it and told them exactly what it was ... passion from two players trying to get the best out of a play and themselves."

It was shocking night for O'Connor as he struggled to make an impact around the park before a poor clearing kick went straight into Sharks half-back Stefan Ungerer's hands only metres from the Reds' tryline.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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