John Kiely accuses Galway players of ‘simulation’ during Limerick loss

John Kiely is not happy with the way rules of hurling are being interpreted by officials.

Limerick manager John Kiely is not happy with the rules of hurling. Kiely has won two All-Ireland’s, two Munster Championships, and two league titles since taking over in 2017. Yesterday’s six-point loss to Galway, was his side’s first defeat, after a 14 game unbeaten run.

Kiely accepted that his side were beaten by a better team yesterday however he made his feelings very clear regarding the rules of the game. The game yesterday had no spectators and Kiely told Sporting Limerick that this will be the case in 2022 under these rules.

Kiely fears people will have no interest in hurling with rules interpretation.

“I think it’s a worry for the game as much as it’s a worry for us. Having seen two games I’d have major concerns as to where we’re at on this. Clearly, we have to take responsibility for our own performance levels and we do,” the Limerick manager said.

“However, it does appear that the game has changed in the last four months when we’ve all been at home. And someone has decided to take the tackle out of the game. I’d love to know who they were and when it was decided.

“We had nobody here watching the game today and in 12 months’ time we’re going to have nobody watching it if it’s 36 frees they are going to be sitting down to watch.”

Kiely felt there were numerous instances of simulation throughout.

Kiely was happy the viewing public did not have to pay into this game and did not feel any rule changes ahead of this season were necessary. He also felt the Galway players went down too easy to win frees on certain occasions.

“I think the people at home today were saved 20 euros because that wasn’t a spectacle anyone would want to be part of. I wasn’t aware that anything had to change. I completely agree some of those frees are frees. But when a player has the ball and they run at you and throw themselves on the ground roaring and shouting that’s embarrassing. That’s not part of the game.

“There were some clear examples of simulation there today. A couple were very embarrassing. None of us want to see that as part of our game. Having said that, the referees’ interpretation of the rules and our understanding of that is at an all-time low, in my opinion,” he said.

Focus has been on rules instead of the action at hand.

Kiely is disgusted that the focus over the last two games has been on the rules, as opposed to having games to watch for the first time since last December.

“Unfortunately, we’re in a position where we’re in two weekends in a row where we should be talking about how great it is that the teams are back on the pitches and the quality of the performances and so on and so forth.

“We’re stuck unfortunately in this area where we’re discussing rules. When we’ve never had to have those conversations in the past. I can’t remember, and I’m involved a long time now, and I can never remember to have conversations about rules.

“Why have we come to the point where we’ve had such a fantastic game that everyone was enjoying. And now we’re in a situation where we are having deep conversations about rules. It’s so disappointing. It’s so disappointing,” Kiely said.

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