Sunday 21 January 2018

Colm O'Rouke: Blue corner to shade round one but this heavyweight bout will go the distance

Dublin's high-intensity game and their sharper forward line should see them past Kildare today, writes Colm O'Rourke

While this match today between Kildare and Dublin will be fought with absolute intensity, it is certainly not one where the winner takes all.

There will be disappointment in defeat but after the battle the troops will move on in the full knowledge that, like the three wise men in the bible who had to go home by a different route to avoid King Herod, the loser here will also have to make the quarter-final in a more roundabout way. Yet it would be surprising if both are not in the line-up in August; they certainly are in the top eight sides in the country.

Naturally, both groups would prefer a win and a provincial final in a few weeks, but last year Dublin and Kildare grew on the road and the value of matches hardened them mentally and physically. The opposite happened to the provincial winners who all departed the scene at the first big knockout stage.

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