Rebels back sin bin to eradicate ‘rugby tackle’

Cork will support the proposed introduction of a black card in hurling, at Annual Congress later this month.

Rebels back sin bin to eradicate ‘rugby tackle’

Cork will support the proposed introduction of a black card in hurling, at Annual Congress later this month.

At Tuesday’s Cork county board meeting, club delegates mandated the executive to vote in favour of the black card motion drawn up by the standing committee on playing rules.

If the motion is passed at Congress, hurlers deemed by a referee to have committed a cynical foul, or to have used threatening or provocative language, will be sin-binned for a period of 10 minutes.

Cork’s Tim O’Mahony tackles Tipperary’s John McGrath in their Allianz League clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cork’s Tim O’Mahony tackles Tipperary’s John McGrath in their Allianz League clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Prior to Cork club delegates voting on the matter, county secretary Kevin O’Donovan expressed his support for a hurling black card.

“I know it is not popular amongst the hurling fraternity. But go back to the two Cork league games played this year. We had a Cork rugby tackle in the first game to stop a Waterford player getting through on goal,” he said.

“In the last game [against Tipperary], we had a rugby tackle at one end, for which Cork got a penalty. We later had another rugby tackle, for which Tipp got a penalty. If that happened in a football game, it would have got half an hour on RTÉ’s The Sunday Game, but because it is hurling, we do turn a blind eye.

I do believe there is cynicism in hurling. I do believe we should be supporting attacking players and I don’t think they should be rugby-tackled as part of some tradition just because they are through on goal.

Freemount’s John O’Flynn said defenders are getting off too lightly when cynically fouling an opponent outside the large parallelogram.

“If there is a foul around the 21-yard line when there is a goal on, then there is a 21-yard free, but that isn’t enough of a penalty for the foul in a situation like that, so I support the motion,” he said.

Two more delegates spoke in favour of the motion, with one referencing “strategic fouling” carried out by Kilkenny going back years.

Cork will also support the decommissioning of the maor foirne role, a proposal aimed at stopping the running selector entering the field of play.

“Cork are impeccably well behaved on this,” claimed O’Donovan. “Other counties are using it as a tactic. We all know that.

You go in and stand on the free spot, and the goalkeeper, when he’s kicking it out, will think it is a player so he’ll go to the other side. That people can enter the field of play and act as a 16th man is totally corrupting the kick-out.

The county has decided not to get behind Limerick’s call for greater use of matchday technology. The Limerick county board is proposing that teams be afforded at least two challenges per game to question the validity of a score or the awarding of a free/sideline/wide/‘45/’65, or a square infringement.

“We are talking about team managers and team captains stopping a game on two occasions each, like Wimbledon, and saying, ‘can you roll it there, Colette’. I think we are [already] introducing enough stoppages to our game,” O’Donovan opined, when speaking against the motion.

There was similar opposition to the permanent scheduling of the All-Ireland U20 football championship in February and March, as proposed by the fixture calendar review taskforce.

“There is massive pressure on young lads at this time of year. We have to look out for their welfare,” said Cork IT’s Charlie McCarthy.

“If we want to develop players to play senior, we need them playing in better weather and better conditions so they can fully express themselves.

“It is much more difficult to help players develop and become better footballers at this time of year, especially when their schedule is so packed.”

Despite club delegates giving their backing to the Emmet Óg Killoe motion to return the inter-county minor age grade to U18, this decision was subsequently deemed null and void as the top table were reminded by former board chairman Ger Lane that Cork had rejected the same motion at December’s convention. The Youghal club had unsuccessfully tabled the motion at Convention.

“We must abide by Convention, it is the decider in such instances,” said chairperson Tracey Kennedy.

Other motions rejected by the county board on Tuesday include awarding two points for a sideline cut over the bar, extending adult club games to 35 minutes a half, limiting to two players per team the right to speak to a referee during games, and attempts to split the development officer post into four separate roles.

Additional motions Cork’s Congress delegation will support include scrapping the backdoor for beaten provincial finalists in the All-Ireland U20 hurling championship and the establishment of a national oversight unit.

Cork officials will decide on the day of Congress whether to back the Leinster Council proposal to increase the Leinster SHC to six teams.

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