"You grab the face-guard, you're going to get a red" - Keith Rossiter gives honest take on controversial red card 2 weeks ago

"You grab the face-guard, you're going to get a red" - Keith Rossiter gives honest take on controversial red card

Wexford hurling manager Keith Rossiter says that if Jack O'Connor deserved to be sent off on Saturday night, then so did his opposite number David King.

Wexford half forward O'Connor received his marching orders just minutes after coming onto the field in Wexford and Offaly's Division One clash having been deemed guilty of 'deliberately pulling on or taking hold of a face-guard or any part of an opponent’s helmet.'

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According to the GAA rule-book, this is a category III (iv) infraction which warrants a red card and a one-match ban.

A replay of the incident showed however that the Offaly midfielder was also in breach of the rules, having grabbed a hold of O'Connor's face-guard, but this was missed by referee Sean Stack.

Wexford were later reduced to 13 men when half back Charlie McGuckin was also shown a straight red card for a careless pull but thanks to a late score from corner forward Seamus Casey, they salvaged a 0-20 to 1-17 draw in front of their home Chadwicks Wexford Park crowd.

Keith Rossiter told TG4's Mícheál Ó Domhnaill that he felt both O'Connor and King should have been red carded together.

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"I thought we burst out in the second half, we were doing okay," says Rossiter.

"Jack O'Connor was bringing a bit of life to it for the minute or two he was on, there was a bit of a buzz from the crowd and yeah, very disappointed with (the incident) to be honest."

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Wexford were trailing their opponents by 0-11 to 0-9 but, in dire conditions, they battled back to level pegging on 46 minutes, when O'Connor was sent off.

"Before I see it, I thought the two of them were at it from where I was standing," says Rossiter, who won ten county senior titles with his club Oulart-the-Ballagh.

"I think Jack is grabbed there first is he."

"You grab the face-guard, you're going to get a red, but I thought the two of them should have went together, from looking back on it there now."

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"I wouldn't blame Sean Stack for sending Jack off, he grabbed the face-guard.

"But the clip shows, Jack is grabbed by the face-guard there as well. I think he's trying to fight him back away from his eye there to be fair, I think he's blinded by that stage. I don't know how that could be just a Wexford man at fault," he said.

Overall, Rossiter says he'll 'take the point,' admitting that his team only hurled for 35 minutes. Having drawn with neighbours Kilkenny last weekend, Wexford have now drawn two from two in the Allianz League, with a clash vs Clare to come in two weeks time.

"I thought we had the opportunity to go and win it, but to be honest with you Micheál, we didn't hurl for the first half so if you're going to only hurl for 35 minutes, you'd be very lucky to win any game.

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10 February 2024; Wexford manager Keith Rossiter before the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A match between Wexford and Offaly at Chadwicks Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

"I think Offaly had something like 16 to 20 wides in the first half, and to be conceding that much shots in the first half is not good enough so yeah, I'll take the point."

When it was put to him that a TMO could be brought into review such incidents, Rossiter said that 'something has to happen.'

"Something has to happen.

"That determines the end of the game.

"We were doing too much fouling, but that would have been 14-a-piece there if Jack had have went with his man. It was a different outlook, different game.

"I'm disappointed with that. I'm happy with how the lads fought when they went down to 13 men. But I wouldn't be happy with that decision," he concluded.

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