Saturday 19 August 2017

'Galway's style is hard to counter' - Rushe

Dublin's Liam Rushe. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Dublin's Liam Rushe. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Michael Verney

Dublin have crossed swords with Galway regularly in recent years but Liam Rushe believes their style of play has "changed drastically" under Micheál Donoghue, with the Tribesmen turning into a "tactically shrewd" outfit.

Rushe was often caught between two stools in the sides' recent Leinster SHC quarter-final final as his direct opponent Joe Canning drifted into space and played anywhere but centre-forward on his way to four points from play and a string of assists.

The Dubs were swatted aside by 14 points with skipper Rushe acknowledging that Galway are getting increasingly difficult to play against and are now worthy All-Ireland favourites.

"They're going to be hard beat, they've a lot of forwards who can win their own ball and score," he said as Aer Lingus, official airline of Dublin GAA, announced details of their autumn transatlantic offers.

"They are back to the constant rotation that you saw in 2012, which is hard to pin down.

Drifting

"They have a new role for Joe, drifting out to midfield. That's the hardest thing to pin down, what are you going to do? You're not going to send your centre-back off to midfield to play there and have four backs.

"They have developed a style that's very difficult to play against. They've become very tactically shrewd in the last year. There were times in the first half when you felt you were playing against Waterford… they just withdrew and it's very hard to counter."

As Galway face Offaly in Sunday's Leinster semi-final, Rushe feels their forward rotation is even more advanced than All-Ireland champions Tipperary, and only extensive analysis can curb their movement, and Canning's influence.

"You have to sit down before you play and decide what you're going to do. Is everyone holding their positions? Are you picking up key men?" he said.

"What are you doing with Canning? Every centre-back wouldn't step right up unless the centre-forward is in their half. With Joe kind of segueing in and out of midfield it's increasingly difficult to pick up."

Irish Independent

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