Former Cork hurler Diarmuid O’Sullivan has launched a scathing attack on the motion to ensure all close-range frees and penalties are struck before the 20m line.
O’Sullivan described the motion, brought forward by the Playing Rules committee to be debated at this month’s Congress, as “farcical” and said Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash is being unfairly targeted for his style of free-taking.
O’Sullivan added that a tradition of dead-ball specialists carrying the sliothar inside the 20m line existed for years and was at odds as to why Nash is being singled out.
“It is farcical, absolutely farcical” he said. “Why punish a guy because he is better at doing something than other players. DJ Carey was years balancing the ball on his hurley for at least three seconds before striking a free. Joe Canning holds the ball on his hurley for two or three seconds before taking a free and striking the ball over the bar. Take your own meaning from that.”
The former Cork full-back believes any change to the rule book would encourage defenders to foul more regularly inside the danger zone as free-takers were less likely to find the net when striking before the 20m line.
“As a back you’d be more inclined to foul if you know the free-taker can’t come inside the 20 metre line when taking the free.Do you give away the goal or attempt to stop the shot you know will be easier to stop if this motion is passed? I know what I’d be doing.”
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