Dubs must be beaten by qual­ity not new rule

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE -

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.

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