Saturday 20 January 2018

Have your say: Passing trend has got to be curtailed

RE: Tommy Conlon's column in the Sunday Independent [Nov 7, 2010] regarding Gaelic football and the Australian game, I find the Aussie game a lot more exciting. In your column you mentioned that the Gaelic game needs more kicking and less passing with the hand. I'm sure many fans would agree 100% with that.

I've counted six and more handpasses. That spoils the game. You also mentioned that a new rule had been introduced, restricting handpasses to four. It should be three, beyond three a free kick. And a new rule should be introduced: get rid of scoring with the hand. It would be far more exciting to score by kicking -- after all it's Gaelic football not volleyball.

I wrote to the GAA some time ago about the above and why they changed the sideline kick to the hand. And also the use of the yellow card was introduced. We didn't need it before, it's Gaelic football not soccer. All I got back was 'you are entitled to your point of view'. It's no wonder the fans are damn mad with the GAA. What you need is someone that will make changes and make the game the fans want.

Spruce the stadiums up too, especially for the All-Ireland games. Paint the goalposts a bright yellow and the goal umpires should get new dress; they look awful. And make the score flags larger and mark 50 and 70 yards at the centre of the field for football and hurling. Make the half-time entertainment more colourful. After all, the All-Ireland games are broadcast around the world. They should be better promoted. A lot of people here in Canada who saw the games really liked them.

But they find scoring with the hand ridiculous. And, as I mentioned, a little sprucing up would help also. They find hurling fast, like ice hockey. I played these two great games a long time ago as a kid in Ireland back in the 1930s and '40s. That will give you an idea how old I am.

Tom O'Donovan

IRB must tackle refereeing crisis

I write out of serious concerns now for the standard of refereeing at International, Heineken Cup and Magners League levels. In other words, at all senior level. The standard is deteriorating and leaves much to be desired. You have a serious problem of credibility now.

The casual dismissal of a major referee error in the Wales-Ireland Six Nations match is the last straw. A major doubt arose and the technology was ignored, which would have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Mike Phillips' try was not a try at all because of a deliberate misdemeanour at the line-out.

This is not an isolated incident involving this high-ranking referee, and this very same issue at the lineout. And there are scores more examples this season in the senior game among most referees.

Senior players can not have confidence in referees at present. The rulings on the breakdown are inconsistent between referees. The attitude to the scrum and front rows collapsing is also inconsistent and baffling to players.

Frankly, the situation is deteriorating rapidly in the run-in to this year's World Cup. Farcical in fact. The IRB needs to get to terms with poor and inconsistent referees quickly.

John B Murphy

Sexton criticism

is unwarranted

I think John O'Brien has clearly shown just how little he understands rugby [Mar 13]. He blames Jonathan Sexton for two 'major errors'. How O'Brien could even suggest Sexton's kick which found a good safe touch was a major error is beyond me. The fact that the officials made an enormous mistake should not be attempted to be laid at Sexton's door.

Also, anybody can miss a penalty kick. The kick Sexton missed was not easy. There is no such thing as an easy kick in international rugby. To describe it as a 'major error' is neither fair nor accurate.

Tony Duncan

Football loyalties

on sticky wicket

The euphoria surrounding Ireland's excellent win over England recently at the Cricket World Cup is, I suggest, in marked contrast to the fact that when League Of Ireland teams play English sides here, especially those from the much vaunted Premiership, the majority of the Irish present cheer on the visitors. Not really cricket . . . ?

Tom Gilsenan

Sunday Indo Sport

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