Diarmuid O’Sullivan has given his take on the changing attitudes in the sport of hurling and how they have an affect on the decisions made by referees.
Cork hurling legend and columnist for Paddy Power News Diarmuid O’Sullivan gave his take on the performance of referee Paud O’Dwyer during yesterday’s meeting between themselves and All-Ireland champions Limerick.
Citing difference in standards and game-management, O’Sullivan explained how he was not impressed or encouraged by what he saw at the Gaelic Grounds.
“About five minutes before half time Paud O’Dwyer lost control of the game and his refereeing continued to be questionable after that. The yellow card Mark Coleman received was incredible. If I was still playing the game, I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes!
“Brian Gavin highlighted recently in his article in The Examiner, that unfortunately, the high calibre referees are starting to go out of the game and we’re going to have to make do with a lesser standard of ref until they gain the experience and know-how on how to manage the game. The standard has undoubtedly dropped over the last few years.
“There were question marks over Sean Cleere in Cork and Tipp last weekend, now you have Paud O’Dwyer from Sunday and don’t get me started on the Tipp v Waterford game. There was no argument over the second yellow Conor Gleeson received, but I don’t know what he was booked for at all, for the first one.”
From there, he went on to question the officiating of games and the lack of consistency that is found from one game to another.
“If this kind of refereeing continues the cut and trust of the Championship is going to slowly disappear because of the bit of jostling with be taken out of our game. I don’t ever remember someone being killed from a bit of handbags!
“It’s part and parcel of the game and it’s what makes the Munster Championship so special. People ask if they need help, but did Brian Gavin or Barry Kelly need help? No. They had a bit of common sense and they knew what Championship hurling meant.
“They knew there’d be a bit of rough and tumble here or a bit of holding there, but it was part of the game. They weren’t stupid, and most of the time they knew it was the two players at it.
“As a fan, you want to see guys on your team willing to go to the edge to win. But, some of the refereeing we’ve seen so far has been very soft. For example, I watched the video of Down and Derry in the Christy Ring Cup this year and the ref let five head-high challenges go and played on in the first half alone. Then in games of a higher magnitude, we’re not allowed to touch each other. It’s very inconsistent.”