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Credit to GAA for ‘Nash’ rule change

I think the GAA should be widely commended for their decision this week to amend the rules for penalties/20-metre frees.

The safety of players should be of the utmost importance, and the GAA have acted to deal with this, though the decision should have been made prior to the start of the championship.

The sliotar is lighter than it was before and, combined with the pace it was struck at, meant that players defending these close-in frees were in serious danger of injury.

I also think the GAA should have two referees in charge of matches. The pace of the game, the variety of rules and timekeeping is too much responsibility for one referee to keep up with — at a minimum, the concept of two referees should be trialled during the 2015 pre-season and National Hurling League competitions.

Richard Holden

GAA brass selfish like politicians

Are the GAA heading in the direction where, as people get older, they are not able to go to matches? On Sky Sports last weekend we had the Kilkenny v Offaly match. I was talking to different people in my region; they were so devastated that they couldn’t watch the match on RTE. I suppose people like the top brass of the GAA are like our politicians. They are selfish and ignorant and don’t have a clue about people’s needs. Shame on you boys .

John White

Sky getting bang for their buck

Now that GAA games have taking to Sky TV the bizarre and dreadful confrontation that took place at the Armagh /Cavan football match last Sunday was embarrassing to watch, to put it mildly. However, Sky TV may now feel they have got double value for their money as they now have a combination of cage fighting and all-in wrestling thanks to the GAA.

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Tony Moriarty

I refuse to endure Brazil’s borefest’

Now that the World Cup has begun I must grind my teeth and endure a month of listening to armchair bores.

I am referring to those who dogmatically believe that it really is the beautiful game. Only an exceptional player like Lionel Messi has the ability to light up our screens. I refuse to sit through a borefest for a moment of magic which may or may not happen.

Oh well, it only comes around once every four years, so I suppose there’s little point in being a curmudgeon. Enjoy your World Cup.

John Bellew

Vanishing spray is logical next step

Now that the GAA authorities have clarified that a penalty or 20-metre free puck in hurling must be struck on or before the 20-metre line but not beyond it, I wonder if they will consider supplying the referees with “vanishing spray” to indicate the position that a free-taker must not encroach beyond before impact is made, as trialled at the Club World Cup, and as featured in your paper last week. Certainly it would make the referees’ position a lot clearer in setting the line and eliminate any possible disputes.

James Healy

Irish sides are a match for anyone

Brendan Fanning claims that rugby’s Junior World Championship is “typically, a harrowing experience for our (Irish) teams” (Ruddock’s juniors defying injuries and long-haul travails’, 8/6/14).

Mr Fanning trots out the old canard that Irish boys are inferior in terms of genetics to other nations, such as those with “Polynesian or Afrikaaner talent”. However, we have seen already in this year’s tournament that the Ireland under 20s were more than capable of defeating a team in which 100 per cent of its players were Polynesian, ie Fiji, whom we beat by 38-0.

In the 2012 Junior World Championship held in South Africa, the Ireland under 20s had South Africa’s under 20s, a team full of Afrikaaners, in their JWC group, and Ireland defeated them 23-19.

The thinking which says that Irish players are genetically inferior is a relic of the days when Ireland held an overall inferiority complex. I do not believe, however, that this thinking is shared by the younger generation in Ireland.

There is nothing in rugby that cannot be overcome by good technique, conditioning and desire.

John B Reid


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