Impact of black card won't be known until League is done -- McGuinness

Here’s what the bosses of Donegal and Tyrone made of the new development in the rulebook.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

DONEGAL BOSS JIM McGuinness had no major complaints with the new black card rules enacted during yesterday’s 0-13 to 1-7 Dr McKenna Cup defeat to Tyrone.

The 2012 All-Ireland winner did issue the caveat that no certain judgment on the new rule’s impact could be given until the National League was completed in the spring.

Rory Kavanagh was issued the only black card of the season-opener in Letterkenny, his late check on Tiernan McCann earning him the honour.

“I didn’t see it, but the boys said he blocked him,” said McGuinness, “so if he blocked him, he blocked him.”

However, the Donegal chief added that not all decisions for the card would be as clear-cut as the “99%” which would come when tempers flare. McGuinness repeated an idea put to him that a  rugby style ‘choke tackle’ could be a possible way to slide into the grey area left open for a referee’s interpretation – though such a tackle would require one player to have superior strength over another.

“Somebody said to me that if you grab somebody and don’t let them by you, but don’t pull them to the ground, it’s not a black card. So if you’re strong enough to hold somebody up, it’s not a black card. All these things are interpretation of the rules and the referees implementing them. I think it wasn’t that difficult to referee today.”

He added: “I don’t see many people going out to coach (holding players up), to be honest. I think 99% of managers coach to the rules.”

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Yesterday’s victorious manager on the other hand had no such reservations about the black card punishment and says he has already made his teams adapt their approach to suit.


“There was a good bit of evidence there that where people played the ‘give and go” the same interference that was there in the past was not there,” said Tyrone’s Mickey Harte.

“You have to make players that you don’t actually face up people when they pass the ball over your head because that is no longer acceptable and you have to think of some other alternative of being present when they go for that run to receive the ball without interfering with their run.”

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