Offaly manager Michael Fennelly critical of new advantage rule in hurling

“For me, that’s madness.”

Offaly manager Michael Fennelly is not a fan of the new advantage rule in hurling. The former Kilkenny star watched his side cruise to a 3-24 to 3-9 victory over Meath at the weekend, though he doesn’t think the new rule will improve the game as a spectacle.

The new advantage rule means a referee can now only play advantage if they believe the team in possession of the ball has a clear goal-scoring opportunity or another advantage ‘by creating or capitalising on time and space.’

Fennelly feels it will lead to too many frees and stoppages in matches.

Offaly manager Michael Fennelly is critical of new hurling rule.

“If that rule is there and referees have to abide by it, that’s going to cause serious problems for everyone; supporters, managers, players,” Fennelly told the Irish Examiner.

“If you have advantage in the half-back line and someone is fouling you but you get away from him, by the letter of the law that’s a free and you bring it back.

“But no one wants to be going into a summer of frees. We saw it there a couple of years ago where there were 30-something frees in games, we can’t be going back to that again.

“I hope to God whoever came up with that idea, obviously a group came up with the idea, that can’t be going on. Who would come up with an idea to slow down the game and give frees, and they want frees? For me, that’s madness.”

TJ Ryan unsupportive of rule change.

Former Limerick manager TJ Ryan was also very critical of the rule when speaking on the Irish Examiner Allianz League Podcast.

“I thought the advantage rule was brought in to have a bit more flow and less frees in the game and it to be a better spectacle. So I don’t understand why this change was made,” Ryan said.

“My belief is I don’t think the referees wanted this change. They were trying to let the game flow. I don’t believe the players wanted this, so why?

“I was of the opinion that the game of hurling was in a very good place. Up to recently, I thought there were some fantastic games of hurling.

“We’re just bringing in changes. I think we’re breaking it.”

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