Saturday 17 February 2018

Colm O'Rourke: Royal battle for midfield jungle

Meath young guns will struggle to cope with Dubs' raw power, pace and precision, writes Colm O'Rourke

First of all, who decided that next weekend's qualifiers have to be played on Saturday? Just because there are hurling quarter-finals on Sunday does not mean that the losers of today's provincial finals should not get an extra day's rest and play on the Sabbath.

It is an absolute disgrace that teams are being penalised for making progress in their provincial championships. Because Leinster and Ulster are the last finals to be played, their teams are at a huge disadvantage, the statistics for beaten provincial finalists who play six days later clearly show that.

A winning team playing six days later is in a much better position. I hope the county boards of whichever sides lose today make sure to have their games next Sunday rather than Saturday, it is the very least they deserve. One day is critical after a defeat at this stage to help physical and, more importantly, emotional recovery.

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