News Off the Ball

Sunday 31 August 2014

Penalty conundrum no conundrum at all

Ger Gilroy

Published 09/07/2014 | 02:30

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It's a penalty! Now, to tap it over or go for goal? Photo: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
It's a penalty! Now, to tap it over or go for goal? Photo: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

If cliché is to serve any purpose in our lives it's surely to provide some failsafe rules in moments of great turmoil.

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Never give a sucker an even break is my favourite. Brent Pope used to say it a lot and if you think about it, it sums up the utter lack of nuance in the All Black mentality.

Competitive sport, during a contest, is not a time for nuance. Afterwards sure you can utter platitudes, embrace your opponent and share "moments".

During the game it's killing time – within the rules obviously.

Getting a penalty because your team has been the victim of foul play is also killing time. You always have a choice to tap it over or go for it, but unless it's the last puck of the game then the rule has to be to punish the sucker who fouled you to the maximum.

Goal. Always a goal. If you elect to tap it over you're rewarding the fouling team and handing over the initiative.

If you miss, then so what? We play to win, not to not lose. It's only a game after all.

Irish Independent

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