Tipperary legend Eoin Kelly has spoken out against Tadhg de Búrca’s controversial suspension this week.
Kelly sang a familiar tune as he questioned the length of time the appeal process has dragged on for. He also questioned the seriousness of the Waterford sweeper’s offence, writing in his Paddy Power blog post.
“The whole situation surrounding Tadhg de Búrca ban is so wrong. There was nothing in the incident. Adrian Tuohy from Galway got off on a similar situation during the week and there wasn’t anything in that either.
“You have to be disappointed by how long this has dragged on. For the player most of all, but also for the two counties involved on Sunday.
“It’s unfair on everybody and I don’t know how these things aren’t sorted within a week.”
Kelly also raised concerns regarding the overly black-and-white nature of the ‘faceguard’ rule. Over the past few weeks we have seen that, according to the letter of the law, de Búrca and Adrian Tuohy ‘deserved’ to be red carded for making contact with their opponents’ faceguards. But there are questions over the legitimate aggression shown in either action.
If a player attempts to pull his opponent to the ground, via his faceguard, or aggressively strikes or shakes it, then yes a red card is warranted. It’s difficult to say either Tuohy or de Burca’s infringements fit this billing, and many feel that the implementation of the law is too strict.
“He deserved to get off for me, and this rule needs to be looked at now more than ever.
“I would amend it to punish a guy who goes at his opponent’s helmet aggressively and creates a melee: that’s a genuine red card.
“If two lads are going at each other, let them sort it out themselves – a bit like ice hockey.
“The rule as it stands is a bit ridiculous. There are too many inconsistencies in it and I’m sure the refs would be happier if it’s changed as well.”
The point of inconsistencies has certainly reared its head this week with Tuohy having no case to answer and de Búrca being thrown under the proverbial bus, by the letter of the law.
The rule will most likely be subject to review at the end of the season. Like the black card which has plagued the football championship, any rule that racks up inches of column space negatively needs to be examined in greater detail.
While we all hope for a cracking game of hurling in Croke Park tomorrow, the truth is should Waterford fall to Cork again, many will point the finger of blame towards his suspension.
Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we look ahead to Cork vs Waterford.