Sunday 11 December 2016

Loophole in 'black card' rule provides licence to dive

Diarmuid Lyng

Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30

Andy Moran, Mayo
Andy Moran, Mayo

'Technically he got the decision correct' was Eugene McGee's reading on the show of referee Ciaran Brannigan's decision to only tick Andy Moran's most cynical of fouls against Kerry on Sunday. The usual caveat of the referee's discretion was mentioned in his next breath.

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There was no doubt as to the cynicism of the foul. Daithi Casey was pumping through the heart of the Mayo defence when Moran came in from the back and managed to grab his arm and give him the pull he needed to stop play or the player, and he was ready for his punishment. But Moran hasn't studied the rule book with the same zeal as Brannigan.

Players don't really do that. It's a process of discovery. You feel your way through, push the boundaries as far as you can. Like a toddler tests its parents. How far can I take it? What can I get away it? And then BANG, hardwired into muscle memory. 'The line'.

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