"No one wants to see that" - Turlough O'Brien unimpressed by new rules after Carlow's first day out
Turlough O'Brien doesn't see much future for the new rules.
Carlow began their season with a 0-12 0-8 loss to Westmeath in the opening round of the O'Byrne Cup on Sunday afternoon.
In front of a measly crowd at Cullen Park, the visitors looked fitter and their foot-passing was slicker than the home side, who struggled at times to come to terms with the new rules being trialled.
Turlough O'Brien doesn't blame his players for this.
"There's a lot of ball being turned over, that's the big thing, players are indecisive, they're getting caught because they can't use the handpass."
Full time in Carlow and it's a 0-12 0-8 win for Westmeath in the first round of the O'Byrne Cup pic.twitter.com/MvAVsofYSy
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 9, 2018
"I saw in Portlaoise last night, reading the papers this morning I couldn't believe what I was reading, a huge amount of turnovers, I know there were bad conditions last night but there were a dreadful amount of turnovers, same here today. Both sides were experimental too, have to remember that. I just don't...we'll wait and pass judgement after the three games."
Carlow were caught out five times for hand-passing the ball more than three times in a row in their season opener, with Westmeath reaping the reward for putting them under pressure in possession.
And O'Brien bemoaned the impact of the hand pass rule, in particular, claiming that players are being forced to kick the ball away aimlessly leading to lots of turnovers.
"I wouldn't be hopeful. I don't think it's a better spectacle when the ball is being kicked away like that. No one wants to see that.
"When there is a sweeper in play it's nearly a recipe for a turnover, last line in particular, turnover after turnover and here today that's going to be a problem, a big problem. I don't think it's going to add anything to it, when teams are at full strength and more competitive it will be even worse," he said.
If O'Brien has his way, these rules won't be seen past the O'Byrne Cup and the other pre-season competitions.
"I don't think it's a case of not being familiar with it (either), it's just your options are so limited. This game is played at a very fast pace and you only have a split second to make your mind up and if the handpass is not on you are going to get closed down very quickly. Lads are kicking the ball because they have to and are getting turned over.
"Everyone gets frustrated and the standard of the game goes down. I don't think today added anything to it. If you are looking at that game today you wouldn't say these rules are making a fantastic change to the game for the positive, I didn't see that."