Cork boss McCarthy is not a fan of the new hand pass rule

Cork boss McCarthy is not a fan of the new hand pass rule
Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

CORK coach Ronan McCarthy isn’t a fan of the experimental rule limiting teams to no more than three consecutive handpasses.

The Rebels were caught on a few occasions against Limerick in their McGrath Cup win on Sunday but McCarthy is reluctant to focus too much on these rules – which won’t feature for the championship and may not even be carried into the national league, with a decision to be made after the pre-season competitions end.

“One issue is the uncertainty of whether or not they are going to apply for the league,” McCarthy said.

“Then, how much work do you put into something that you no is not going to be there for the championship. Then, another issue, this three hand-pass rule, we shouldn’t have to be counting for players on the sideline. It makes the game a bit… the fourth kick is just for the sake of it.

“Today was my first real experience of it, really, but I would have felt that if you pack a defence, it was supposed to open up the game, but I think it will actually encourage teams to pack their defence as it is very hard to work through it if you have to watch the number of handpasses you are making.”

Tomás Clancy passes away from Mike Fitzgibbon of Limerick. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Tomás Clancy passes away from Mike Fitzgibbon of Limerick. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

On Saturday, it was announced that former Cork start Ciarán O’Sullivan was stepping down as a selector, but McCarthy had been aware of the situation for a while.

“He is a loss,” he said.

“It isn’t sudden, it is something he had flagged to me well before Christmas, to be fair to him. 

“We just have to accept it and thank him for what he has done. It was a huge commitment for him, personally. I don’t think anyone can really imagine. It is five hours driving a night, every time he comes training.

“Ciarán is the kind of person that he is either fully in or he’s not in at all. It is a loss, no question. We’d love to have him. We also have to accept the genuineness of his decision and wish him well.”

An addition to the backroom set-up is Jason Ryan and it’s a relationship McCarthy is looking forward to developing.

“It is an arrangement that will develop itself as we go along,” he said.

“He’s a vastly experienced manager, has a great knowledge of the game. He has been hugely helpful to me already in the short time that he has been involved.

“I am not against filling [the vacant selector’s role]. But I suppose, I am not going to bring someone in for the sake of it. It is a case of if we can get the right person involved who has something to offer extra and add to the group we have.

“I am keeping an open mind on it. In the short-term, we’ll just drive on. If we can find the right person, certainly, no issue with it whatsoever.”


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