Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan has claimed there was “absolutely no way” he should have been sent-off during Sunday’s All-Ireland final with Tipperary.
Hogan received his marching orders following a clash with Cathal Barrett towards the end of the first-half before Tipperary blitzed Kilkenny in the second en route to a 28th All-Ireland title.
The decision to send off Hogan has divided opinion with many convinced it was a dangerous challenge and warranted red while others feel it has been blown out of proportion.
Speaking to Off The Ball, Hogan aired his view that he felt it wasn’t a red card offence.
“I watched it back there this morning, I stayed away from it earlier on – but I was going in for a shoulder on Cathal Barrett, he stepped inside and my momentum took me through.
“In my opinion, there was absolutely no way it was a sending-off.”
Hogan went on to explain that he genuinely believed that referee James Owens had taken out the wrong card when he flashed red in Hogan’s direction.
“It was clear as day to anyone at the match, what I was trying to do,” Hogan explained.
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“The first thing I thought was to get back and get after the ball, then when I turned around and saw him on the ground I thought ‘It’s a free’. I was complaining about getting a yellow card because it was one of those clearly accidental, honest challenges.
“I just assumed that he had taken the wrong card, to be honest with you.”
The 2014 Hurler of the Year was quick to absolve both Owens and opposing defender Cathal Barrett of any blame but uttered the point that ‘this is not Irish dancing’, a reference made to those saying his arm should have been down by his side
“It’s not an easy game to referee, so I wouldn’t be pointing any blame at James Owens, Cathal Barrett or anyone.
“It’s just a difficult situation. They spoke about your arm not being down by your side. This is not Irish dancing.
“We have hurleys in our hands, how do we hold a 36-inch hurley without bending your arm?”
Barrett also disputed claims that it was his elbow that made contact with Barrett claiming he was surprised to see the corner-back on the ground following the tackle.
“For me, any talk of an elbow was crazy. The first I heard of it was this morning. I couldn’t believe that lads were mentioning elbows. I went in with the shoulder, he slipped me and I could actually feel the contact coming off as he was swinging around.
“I didn’t expect him to be down, but when I looked around and saw him down then I thought ‘OK, it’s a free,’ turned around and went to get up the field to defend it.”
Hogan admitted there was contact but that it was a completely honest challenge.
“If you look at rugby, a fella passes off the ball and is tackled late; if a player is committed to the challenge and he has tackled late, then it just play on. There’s an understanding there.
“It was as obvious as day that I went into an honest challenge to shoulder him over the line and he cut back in. Was there contact? There absolutely contact. But it was a completely honest challenge.”
Hogan rounded off the interview saying it was time for Kilkenny to move on and that the next few weeks and months should be all about Tipperary.
“That’s the way it goes. We get up and get on with it. We would never look to it as an excuse, or use it as an excuse.
“For myself… I don’t want the All-Ireland final to be ruined by controversy over a particular incident. I mean, I will never speak about it again.
“We’ll just get up and get on with it, and wish Tipperary well. The next week and couple of months should be about Tipperary.”