Tohill questions impartiality of International Rules official

Ireland International Rules manager Anthony Tohill has questioned the impartiality of one of the match officials in the second Test of this year's Series against Australia.

Ireland International Rules manager Anthony Tohill has questioned the impartiality of one of the match officials in the second Test of this year's Series against Australia.

Ray Chamberlain, noted as Australian Rules' highest profile umpire, and experienced GAA referee David Coldrick were in charge of the two clashes in Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

In his five-page report on the 2011 International Rules tour, which was presented to GAA Central Council delegates over the weekend, Tohill blasted that 'despite assurances given in advance of the second Test, it was apparent that one match official was intent on trying to reduce the lead that Ireland had built up.'

Tohill, whose side claimed an aggregate 130-65 Series triumph, added: "Impartiality remains a real concern."

The former Derry All-Ireland winner also believes that the rules of the hybrid game should have been more tightly enforced.

"It is recognised that refereeing at any level is a difficult and thankless job and if anything refereeing International Rules is much tougher than refereeing in GAA or AFL," he wrote.

"This job is not helped if the attitude of players and management is not within the spirit and rules of the game. The second Test threatened to get out of control and there was genuine concern for the safety of our players and the future of the Series.

"There are sufficient provisions within the rules to take action to ensure that the game is played in the right spirit and these need to be enforced. There were a number of incidents during the second Test where the referees made incorrect decisions.

"Recourse to the video match official, in line with the provisions of the rules, could have resulted in better officiating of the game."

Meanwhile, Tohill believes that the 'club versus country' situation should not have hung over the Irish squad in the days leading up to their departure.

"The most difficult aspect of preparing the team prior to departure was the availability of players due to club commitments.

"Despite commencing collective training two weeks later than 2010, this remained a very difficult situation to manage.

"The week prior to departure was a difficult period for both management and players. The uncertainty over player availability due to club matches was most unfortunate."

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