Thursday 23 February 2017

'Every team sins' - Ó Flatharta

Michael Verney

At the launch of the Volkswagen Kilmacud Crokes Sevens were Ray Cosgrove, Tomás Ó Flatharta, Volkswagen’s Paul O’Sullivan, and club chairman Kevin Foley Picture: Sportsfile
At the launch of the Volkswagen Kilmacud Crokes Sevens were Ray Cosgrove, Tomás Ó Flatharta, Volkswagen’s Paul O’Sullivan, and club chairman Kevin Foley Picture: Sportsfile

Tomás Ó Flatharta has no sympathy for managers complaining about their players being targeted or receiving rough treatment - because he believes every team is doing what they can to get a winning edge.

Much has been made of the cynical treatment dished out to Diarmuid Connolly and Sean Cavanagh, which saw both receive their marching orders at crucial stages during last weekend's quarter-finals.

Both Jim Gavin and Mickey Harte vented their anger at the antagonistic behaviour by opponents in the immediate aftermath, but Ó Flatharta is not convinced that they are being more sinned against than sinning.

The former Westmeath, Galway and Laois manager thinks the majority of teams get involved in such tactics and feels that no side should be painting themselves as whiter than white.

"I don't think Jim Gavin was the only one crying last weekend. Quite a number of managers have done it this year. I think there is no team around that sin at one end and are caught out at the other end themselves," Ó Flatharta said.

"I don't think there is much pity for anyone who is crying like that at the moment. Most teams are doing it. They are committing the crime themselves and being punished as well at the same time.

"There is a lot of sledging, a lot of diving on the ball, off-the-ball stuff going on all the time and I don't think any team can put up their hand and say 'we don't do any of those things'."

With so much off-the-ball activity, the performance of referees and umpires is coming under the microscope more than ever, and Ciarán Branagan's decision to send off Dublin substitute Eoghan O'Gara deep into injury-time has caused much debate.

Ó Flatharta feels officials are damned if they do and damned if they don't, saying: " I have seen plenty of bad decisions by referees this year but if we go to Eoghan O'Gara's situation - what he did was a strike, and a strike is a red card.

"On one side we have people saying referees should do their job properly, yet when they do their job properly, the same people are calling for Eoghan O'Gara to be let off in this situation because, you know, he didn't hurt his opponent.

"But that's neither here nor there. They are after looking at this five or six times on television while the referee or the umpire just saw it the once. I think the referee did the right job in the situation."

He expects O'Gara's appeal to be successful, however, making him eligible to play against his native Kerry in the semi-final on August 28.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport