RETIRED KERRY STAR Darran O’Sullivan says All-Ireland finalists Tyrone lacked “a bit of balls” in their defeat to the Kingdom last weekend.
Kerry opened their Allianz football league campaign with a four-point win over their Ulster rivals on Sunday to give manager Peter Keane a winning start to his time in charge.
O’Sullivan believed that the poor weather conditions in Killarney would suit Tyrone’s defensive style of play, but was disappointed with their performance which produced just two points from play throughout the tie.
He also criticised their decision-making on the ball and suggested that there was fear in their play.
“I don’t reckon they’ll be that bad again,” said O’Sullivan, who is a GAA Ambassador with Paddy Power News.
“It just didn’t happen for a couple of their bigger players. Fellas were afraid to take a chance and kick ball at times.
They’d get to a point where you’d need some creativity, or a bit of balls, and really to go for the kick. But too many of them were happier to hand-pass the ball because it was a safer option.
“Tyrone had the wind in the first half and their reluctance to kick the ball was frightening. On the occasions they did do it, their basic skills were poor and they had an inability to pull it off.
“I got up to a high vantage point to watch the game, a perfect view, and the movement in the Tyrone full-forward line was awful.
The 2009 All-Ireland winning captain added:
“Kerry’s defence was unbelievably well organised on Sunday. They were fit, strong and tenacious in the tackle, a really good unit. And there was someone always there to snuff out the danger. At no stage did I feel that Tyrone would open them up.”
Donie Smith tries to wrestle the ball from Mayo’s Keith Higgins.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Elsewhere in Division 1, Roscommon’s Donie Smith could be facing retrospective punishment for an apparent eye-gouging on Mayo’s Keith Higgins during the clash of the Connacht sides on Saturday.
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O’Sullivan indicated that he was a victim of a similar incident during his career and insisted that the GAA must take a stronger stance to eliminate it from the game.
“Stuff like eye-gouging and fingers into the mouth must be stamped out. It looks awful and the GAA are going to have to be strong on it.
“I’m sure he’s probably regretting it now, but I reckon he’s in trouble. You don’t want to see anyone suspended and missing game time, but when you make an error of judgement like that you have to pay the price.
“There has to be consequences, otherwise what’s to stop someone else doing it.”
Join us to preview the Six Nations with Simon Zebo, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey on Thursday @7pm in Liberty Hall Theatre Dublin.
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