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Cavanagh: I'm willing to take black card for team

By Cliona Foley

The man who carried out the rugby tackle that sent Joe Brolly ballistic and created a storm of controversy about cynicism in Gaelic football says he will do it again this summer, if needed –- despite the introduction of black cards.

Sean Cavanagh's tackle to stop Monaghan's Conor McManus scoring a goal in the late stages of last year's All-Ireland quarter-final was one of the biggest controversies of 2013.

The sides will lock horns again in Sunday's Ulster semi-final and, ahead of that big rematch, Cavanagh admitted that the introduction of black cards won't stop him repeating such tackles in the late stages of a game.

The five-time All Star believes that most players will "'take one for the team" in similar circumstances.

"Goals are just too big of a score in the championship," Cavanagh stressed. "People will go down or pull people back on purpose to stop them scoring goals, it's as simple as that. Pulling somebody back to me isn't dangerous.

"Maybe if you were getting a red card, and it was deemed a professional foul, and you were going to miss a game or something like that, you definitely would think twice about it.

"But if it got you over the line, and through to the next round of a championship? I think 99.9% of players will tell you exactly the same.

"I know Conor personally and he's a great lad but I have no doubt if we're winning by two points on Sunday, and I go through on goal in the last five minutes, that somebody's going to rip me down.

"You have to accept that. It's part and parcel of the game. The black card will work to a certain extent but there's still anomalies."

The Moy giant added: "Most players would take a black card if it meant the team was going to get to the next round of the championship. It's probably from about 60 minutes onwards. I have no doubt it might click into someone's head that it's the right thing to do for your team."

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