Eddie Brennan reckons that The Sunday Game’s analysis on the Munster final was unfair and biased.
Shane Dowling and Brendan Cummins were the pundits on the night, with Des Cahill in the hot-seat and watching on, the Kilkenny man felt that the analysis lacked balance.
The panel honed in on Clare’s indiscipline on the day, with Cummins highlighting passages of play where Peter Duggan and Rory Hayes struck out at Limerick players but, to Brennan’s mind anyway, if you’re going to talk about one, you may talk about the other.
As it turned out, the Clare duo went un-punished for those misdemeanours but having seen David Reidy ship a pair of belts off William O’Donoghue and Cathal O’Neill, Brennan felt there should have been two sides to the segment.
“I thought it was poor that you could put an analysis piece together and not look at both teams involved. I’m not going to dilute the incidents, there were incidents there, there were a few strikes but I thought David Reidy took a hell of a blow to the head for the first free that he got. A slap of the hurl straight down on top of the head, and I don’t see how that was missed as well.
“The optics of a Limerick man (Shane Dowling) sitting on the Sunday Game,” Brennan commented, “and an analysis piece on the opposition, I don’t think that is fair and impartial. I think It should have been challenged.”
“Limerick, to be fair, they have been a talking point in that regard (indiscipline). I don’t know if I ever recall a team going through a league campaign where they got red cards almost every day they played.
“Emotions are always running high in a Munster Championship game, you’re always trying to get something on the opponent. But it’s really important we keep them in check.”
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“For me, personally, if you are going to do an analysis piece on one team striking. You have to look at other things and say are they being missed. In my personal view, it was poor that you could put an analysis piece together and not look at both teams involved.”
“As I said, Reidy got belted down across the top of the helmet. he got a second one into the faceguard. Are they not yellow card offences if we are ultra-consistent in how we view these things? That would be my point on that. Look, Limerick have been on the receiving end of that too. I don’t think they could argue with the points made.
“With this stuff, you either go after everything or you say nothing. It is simple as that.”
As a Leinster man, Brennan admitted that the Munster final was played at a higher standard and he praised both Clare and Limerick, and referee John Keenan for the roles they played.
“I thought John Keenan was to be complimented on how he refereed it. He didn’t let it get out of control either. That equally is down to the players too. The players weren’t looking for anything that wasn’t there.
“It is happening at such pace, so much going on, it can be very hard to see these things. We got a great occasion and that was down to the players and the referee. No cribbing, no lying down rolling around. They got on with it.”
But when it comes to The Sunday Game, Brennan feels these analysis pieces have to be a bit more balanced and impartial.
“I am not trying to dilute it, someone strikes wrong it should be dealt with. We had a stamp Saturday night in the Leinster final (Cianan Fahy on Richie Reid) These are the things the powers that be have to say we are very consistent with that or what do we do? I felt that analysis on Sunday was biased and it wasn’t fair. If you are going to do something like that you have to be very balanced in it and look at all of the incidents. Are there other incidents that went unchecked?”