Dubs must be beaten by quality not new rule
I WAS in two minds about the decision passed by Congress last weekend that will see all kick-outs having to be kicked forward beyond the 20-metre line.
In the main I welcome it but the one nagging doubt I had was that it may have been in part inspired by how clinically Dublin engage the short kick-out.
The champions, aided by the speed of Stephen Cluxton’s (right) kickouts, have become the masters of making the short kick-out work and prior to the final, out of possession gained from every four short kickouts, three ended up with shots at the opposition goal.
That is a staggering statistic and I would really hope that the motivation behind the rule change was not to disrupt Dublin’s innovation and their unrivalled competence with ball in hand. When the day comes, Dublin must be beaten by the better team and not by the rule book. That gripe apart, otherwise this rule should add a lot of intrigue, excitement and physical intensity to the game. Let’s be honest, you can admire the efficiency of those short rolled out restarts but they are a bore to watch.
In demanding that the ball goes forward off the goalkeeper’s kicking tee, it should make it a lot easier for teams to press-up on kick-outs and will also provide an incentive not to start with a sweeper.
The mark had been a huge success and this should see an increase in the number of long kick-outs, ensuring that the physical heat is dialled up.