I assume originally these rules were a package. The rule allowing only 3 hand passes sort of made sense if a team won a kickout and attacked against only 6 defenders. But once they scrapped the need for players to be in position at kickouts it changed everything. Now, teams defending the kickout will just flood the area with players and it will be a mess. As everyone is saying, it is all just playing into the hands of defensive teams. The key to the whole thing seems to be to get rid of the hand passing across the field, whereas the core issue is the packed defense. This is what is creating the cross the field scenario.
I don’t think the rules are anti Dublin particularly. But I think the success of the new rules will be judged on if Dublin win the league or not. If they don’t, they will probably be adopted permanently.
With Cluxton, he is probably the best long kicker as well as short kicker, so he will still be better then others. But it is going to take a lot of the responsibility away from the keeper. In a congested area, probably the best he can do is a 50/50 ball. But for Comerford it’s not good. He hasn’t the power yet of Cluxton and he has spent his entire career learning to play the game as it is now played. Suddenly he has been told he has to play it differently. He won’t be alone in this, but I suspect not many have spent so much time mastering the short, but difficult kickout. Now, he can’t use it.
I think there is a need for rule changes. But they need to be based on the amount of people allowed in each half. Scoring against 14 defensive players is nearly impossible. With the hand pass rule changed, the only weapon against it is now gone. If they could find a way to limit the amount of players a team can bring into defense it would change everything. But they have gone after the symptoms, not the disease.