Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Michael Murphy was tortured all day' - Joe Kernan blasts 'diabolical' International Rules refereeing

Ireland team manager Joe Kernan and the Australian manager Chris Scott during the Australia v Ireland - Virgin Australia International Rules Series 2nd Test pre match photocall at the Domain Stadium, Subiaco Oval, Perth, Australia. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Ireland team manager Joe Kernan and the Australian manager Chris Scott during the Australia v Ireland - Virgin Australia International Rules Series 2nd Test pre match photocall at the Domain Stadium, Subiaco Oval, Perth, Australia. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

A furious Joe Kernan heavily criticised the refereeing in the second International Rules test in Perth, describing it as ‘diabolical and not fair on players.’

He was especially incensed over the treatment of Michael Murphy, who was very much in Australian sights after scoring 20 points in the first Test last Sunday.

“I thought the refereeing was diabolical. Michael Murphy was tortured all day. He was being dragged all over the place and never got a free. I don’t mind a man being targeted if he gets cover. There was no cover for him today," said Kernan.

“And Aidan O’Shea got a forearm smash right in front of the dug-out. It should have been a straight red but it wasn’t even ticked,” said Kernan.

The referees were Maurice Deegan (Laois) and Matt Stevic (Australia).

Despite being unhappy with the standard of refereeing, the Irish manager did not blame it for Ireland’s defeat.

“A lack of composure cost us at times.In the last quarter, we were caught too many times on the ball. It’s very disappointing. The game was there for the taking,” he said.

Team captain, Aidan O’Shea said that in the final quarter Ireland moved away from what they had been doing so effectively earlier on.

“We rushed things and got caught in the tackle too easily,” he said.

Ireland led 41-34 going into final quarter but ending up losing 53-50. Australia won the series on a 116-103 aggregate.

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