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Offaly's Daithi Regan claims Kilkenny use ‘illegal’ tactics to get edge

KILKENNY'S style of play "borders on illegal" and the current "quite liberal" style of refereeing suits the ways the Cats play, according to Offaly hero Daithi Regan.

Regan also interpreted Brian Cody's comments about referees in the run-up to the league final as an attempt to influence officials to maintain the status quo.

The Kilkenny manager accused some people of trying to take "genuine physicality" out of the game and insisted that referees should be allowed to use their "common sense".

"At national level we're used to seeing the last three All-Irelands and that (refereeing) can be quite liberal," Regan said at the launch of Newstalk Radio's championship coverage.

"I think Kilkenny make no bones that they bring a huge physicality to the game and I think that Brian Cody, by coming out with statements like that, is influencing referees to keep doing what they're doing in a subtle kind of way.

"No more so than Alex Ferguson is a very strong character. Human nature being what it is, the stronger the team you are, the stronger in character you are and the more successful you are as a manager, more will be thought of what you say, as opposed to, say, the Carlow manager making the same statement."

Regan insists his comments "don't take away from Kilkenny's brilliance," but that the Cats benefit most from the current style of refereeing.

"Simple things like a little tug on the arm to slow a guy down and then a second player coming in. It means ball is not being cleared as readily as it would have been. It's not dirty, but it's illegal or bordering on illegal and refs are letting it go because we've all lauded the last three All-Ireland finals, which were outstanding."

Despite the Cats' dominant league final display, Regan doesn't see the destination of the Liam MacCarthy Cup as a forgone conclusion.

"I don't think it works that way and I think Lar Corbett's return will have a huge impact on what could happen this year."

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