Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan has spoken exclusively to Off The Ball about his red card in the All-Ireland final, saying that there is "absolutely no way" he should have been sent off.
Hogan was dismissed in the first-half of the showpiece hurling event, and expressed his disbelief at the decision made by James Owens on Sunday afternoon, saying "this is not Irish dancing."
"I watched it back there this morning, I stayed away from it earlier on - but I was going in for a shoulder on Cathal Barrett, he stepped inside and my momentum took me through.
"In my opinion, there was absolutely no way it was a sending-off."
On his interaction with referee Owens, Hogan gave us his real-time reaction to what happened.
"It was clear as day to anyone at the match, what I was trying to do," before commenting on Barrett's playing style meaning that he is tricky to challenge.
"The first thing I thought was to get back and get after the ball, then when I turned around and saw him on the ground I thought 'It's a free," Hogan explained.
"I was complaining about getting a yellow card, because it was one of those clearly accidental, honest challenges.
"I just assumed that he had taken the wrong card, to be honest with you."
Hogan said that he was "amazed" when the red card emerged from Owens' pocket. He opened up as to the conversation with the referee, from his recollection: "I'm almost certain he said to me 'late challenge'."
Hogan reiterated that he feels that the physicality of hurling as a sport makes it particularly difficult to officiate.
"It's not an easy game to referee, so I wouldn't be pointing any blame at James Owens, Cathal Barrett or anyone.
"It's just a difficult situation," before turning to the mechanics of the sport.
"They spoke about your arm not being down by your side. This is not Irish dancing.
"We have hurleys in our hands, how do we hold a 36-inch hurley without bending your arm?"
Conversation turned to the commentariat around the incident, and accusations of an elbow being thrown were erroneous.
"For me, any talk of an elbow was crazy. The first I heard of it was this morning. I couldn't believe that lads were mentioning elbows. I went in with the shoulder, he slipped me and I could actually feel the contact coming off as he was swinging around.
"I didn't expect him to be down, but when I looked around and saw him down then I thought 'OK, it's a free,' turned around and went to get up the field to defend it."
Lessons to be learned
Hogan would like to see lessons learned from other sports, to defend a tackle that he says he would do again.
"If you look at rugby, [if] a fella passes off the ball and is tackled late; if a player is committed to the challenge and he has tackled late, then it just play on. There's an understanding there.
"It was as obvious as day that I went into an honest challenge to shoulder him over the line and he cut back in.
"Was there contact? There absolutely contact. But it was a completely honest challenge."
As for Kilkenny, he feels that the time has come to move on from both the incident and the final.
"That's the way it goes. We get up and get on with it. We would never look to it as an excuse, or use it as an excuse.
"For myself [...] I don't want the All-Ireland final to be ruined by controversy over a particular incident. I mean, I will never speak about it again.
"We'll just get up and get on with it, and wish Tipperary well. The next week and couple of months should be about Tipperary."