Rugby World Cup: All Blacks midfielder Rieko Ioane slammed for 'classless' gesture after quarter-final win over Ireland

All Blacks midfielder Rieko Ioane has come under fire for his "classless" post-match antics following the World Cup quarter-final win over Ireland on Sunday (NZ time).

After the fulltime whistle had sealed New Zealand's 28-24 win in Paris, Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was shown on the broadcast directing some terse words towards Ioane.

The reason for Sexton's anger were unclear at the time, but the Irish Times has since reported that Ioane had been taunting Irish fans in the stands at Stade de France.

Johnny Sexton has some terse words with Rieko Ioane.
Johnny Sexton has some terse words with Rieko Ioane. Photo credit: Getty Images

Ioane was captured by photographers holding a hand to his ear and also allegedly used the universal gesture for 'be quiet'.

After initially shaking Ioane's hand, Sexton continues talking to Ioane as the All Black ignores him and walks away, while teammate Jack Conan intervenes to prevent the situation escalating.

"Ioane, in a classless gesture, put his finger to his lips while looking at the Irish crowd, and then felt compelled to bid farewell to Sexton," said Irish Times rugby writer Gerry Thornley, who was in attendance.

A crestfallen Sexton, who had just played his 118th and final match for Ireland to end an illustrious test career, was just metres away as Ioane remonstrated with the crowd.

Shortly afterwards, Ioane joined his All Blacks teammates to form a guard of honour to pay tribute to the Irish talisman.

At the post-match press conference, both All Blacks coach Ian Foster and captain Sam Cane acknowledged Sexton for his contribution to the sport. 

"We know how much it hurts, but when we reflect on his career, we see how great he has been for Ireland," Foster said.

"He is great at decision-making, and he plays an outstanding game, and the fact that he has been playing at this level proves it."

The teams have shared some bad blood in recent history, as their test rivalry continues to heat up.  

During their third-test win in Wellington last year, Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony appeared to tell All Blacks counterpart Sam Cane he was just a "shit Richie McCaw".  

The result sealed Ireland's first test series victory in New Zealand and their third win in their last four against the All Blacks.

But last weekend, New Zealand emphatically claimed bragging rights, when they snapped Ireland's 17-game winning streak to send them crashing out of the World Cup.