Ger Loughnane says the time has come for hurling to tackle cynicism because it is contributing to less goals in games.
Ahead of Congress tomorrow, Clare's two-time All-Ireland SHC winning manager agrees with a penalty being given for a cynical foul inside the 20-metre line or the semi-circle that prevents a goal-scoring opportunity.
A recentstudy found that on average there was a goal less scored in last year’s Championship compared to 2011 and ‘12, while Limerick (0.6 goals per game) and Galway (0.4 goals per games) have won two of their last four All-Irelands without much need for goals.
Loughnane is also in favour of the player being punished and being removed from the field. However, he supports the old black card in Gaelic football whereby the player is replaced for the remainder of the game and not sin binned for 10 minutes.
“Any change in the GAA, particularly in hurling, brings great controversy and great discussion,” Loughnane told Community Radio, Kilkenny City. “You remember the Anthony Nash penalty and we all thought the solution was very simple and the GAA came with the proper solution at the end of the day.
“We all regard that tactics are such a huge part of hurling nowadays and with tactics comes the exploitation of every rule if you can. We see people are exploiting the rules that are there - and rightly so, why wouldn’t they - and pushing them to the very, very limit. That was always part of hurling.
“But the cynical tackle, the bringing down of the player when a goal threatens, I think everybody realises now that has to be stopped because goals are drying up, number one, and hurling is associated with goals and great goals that energise the crowd.
“I think the solution is very, very simple: if it’s inside the 21 (yard line) they’re going to give a penalty and give the person a black card. I’m in favour of the black card rather than the sin bin. The penalty and the black card inside the 21 and semi-circle, I don’t think it needs much more than beyond that.”
Ger Loughnane’s conversation with former GAA president Nickey Brennan can be heard here.