GAA Football

Only Dublin can stop Tyrone winning their fourth All-Ireland: Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke believes neither Kerry nor Mayo would beat Tyrone if they reach this year's All-Ireland decider

COLM O’Rourke mightn’t be a big fan of Tyrone’s style of play – but the former Meath footballer says that only Dublin stand in their way of a fourth All-Ireland title.

RTE’s well-known GAA analyst believes Kerry or Mayo, who replay on Saturday, don’t have the tools to topple the Ulster champions.

However, O’Rourke was remaining non-committal on the outcome of Sunday’s eagerly-awaited last four clash between the Sky Blues and Tyrone at Croke Park.

“I don’t like the Tyrone style of play,” said O’Rourke.

“I admire their resilience, their ability to win and I think Dublin are the only team that can beat them this year.

“I don’t think Kerry or Mayo would beat them if they get to an All-Ireland final.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview with the Meath legend, O’Rourke would like to see Mickey Harte’s men kick the ball more often but said their scoring efficiency this summer has been exceptional.

“I think Tyrone are very good, very disciplined and very structured – I just couldn’t warm to that style of football, but it doesn’t stop me being able to appreciate the efficiency with which they carry it out.

“Obviously the scores that they’re running up this year would indicate that.

“I would just like to see them more kicking in the game and less of this sort of computerised defensive structure that they have.”

In today’s interview, O’Rourke reckons the Red Hands have improved their image over the past couple of seasons.

He also criticises the money lavished on the Gaelic Players Association and the GAA’s decision to pay-wall their games through Sky Sports.

Even though he’s critical of the Association for agreeing to sell their media rights to Sky he feels the partnership will not last.

“I’d say it will be reversed,” O’Rourke predicted.

“If Sky said: ‘We’ll give you €50m and we’re going to show 20 games.’ I’d say: ‘Fine’.

“Then every club in the country should get €100,000 or €200,000… But none of the money from the Sky deal seems to have filtered down to clubs. So what’s it all about?

“If you were getting a crock of gold, I’d say fine because it’ll promote clubs. Clubs get nothing out of it.”

He added: “I think it’s something like 80 or 85 per cent of families in the country down here don’t have the Sky channel… Sky had something like less than one per cent of the viewing figures for last year’s All-Ireland when it was on both channels [RTE and Sky].

“And why not give the matches to Sky but put them on RTE as well.”

O’Rourke rejected the notion that he had a vested interest due to his employment with RTE.

“The whole idea was to keep the rights competitive… The Sunday Game isn’t about the three people that are commenting about the game. The only thing that is of any value is the game. Everything else is chaff…

“I would have the same opinion on Sky whether I was working for RTE or not – it’s actually nothing to do with RTE.

“If RTE had less games or more games it doesn’t really matter that much. I think the idea of selling the games to a pay-per-view channel is entirely wrong.

“And it is against all the principles the GAA ever stood for. And it’s against the principles of those at the top of the Association who have always voiced the same thing.

“They said for years and years, including [Director General] Paraic Duffy, we wouldn’t do it. And there we had [All-Ireland quarter-finals] Tyrone versus Armagh and Dublin versus Monaghan behind a pay wall, and people all over the country being forced into pubs – I think that’s wrong.

“I would prefer if they gave the games to TG4 for nothing or TV3 for nothing and let people watch the games, or not have the games on television at all.”

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