Considered bycolumnist Anthony Daly to be the most cynical of all fouls in the game, it is not on the prescribed list and may be a preferred option of defenders if they are rounded and a goal opportunity arises so as to avoid 10 minutes on the sideline. Huw Lawlor’s foul on Niall Burke in last year’s Leinster SHC final was a classic example.
Pardon, please, please pardon the rugby lexicon, but this could be an illegitimate form of the choke tackle. Providing the attacking player is held up illegally but not brought down, the worst the defender is going to concede is a penalty.
The third man tackle is a defined sin bin foul in Gaelic football yet it is not considered one in hurling. Maybe the playing rules committee felt it would be harsh to punish a mistimed shoulder with a sin bin and a penalty but it seems an obvious omission and may have to be included if the sin bin has a future.
The line between aggression and cynical is a thin line as was seen in last year’s All-Ireland qualifier between Cork and Dublin. While Shane Kingston was taken out by a cynical foul by Paddy Smyth which would now be deemed a sin bin, at the other end Colm Spillane stopped Donal Burke’s advance with a high elbow foul that had the same desired effect and was cynical but wouldn’t be considered a sin bin.
Most if not all interference with a player’s helmet or faceguard is now considered a major no-no although there would appear to be some grey areas. To deliberately pull on or take hold of a faceguard or any other part of an opponent’s helmet is deemed a red card offence but lenient referees wouldn’t categorise tapping it from behind so as to disorientate a player as the same. What’s certain is it’s not a sin bin offence as cynical as it is.