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McCaffrey: Waterford fixture is not the 'be all and end all'

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MORE so because of what comes afterwards, the Dublin hurlers' expedition to Walsh Park to take on Waterford this Sunday has the traits of a seminal match in the context of their League ambitions.

Lose, as they often do in Waterford, and Kilkenny's spin to Parnell Park and a subsequent jaunt to Nenagh to take on Tipperary become cut throat sort of affairs.

Then again, Waterford could, on the basis of having beaten Galway after suffering grave misfortune the preceding week against Tipperary, claim to be Division 1A's most consistent side thus far.

"I don't think it's going to be the be all and end all," says Dublin captain Johnny McCaffrey, who is, more often than not, a voice of calming reason from within the trenches.

"Last year, it went into the last round of fixtures and it looked like teams could stay up or get relegated and I've a feeling it will be the same this year.

"Obviously, it's important to get a win this weekend, but there's two or three games left as well. We just want to get a bit of consistency now, not a lumping down like we had the last day. If we can get consistent performances like the last day (when they beat Clare in Parnell Park), we'll be happy."

OFFENDERS

Consistency and Division 1A don't seem too willing bed fellows just now, but maybe the second 'half' of the programme of matches will uncover more traceable form lines. Dublin, of course, being the prime offenders.

Brutal in Salthill against Galway. Commanding and assured in Parnell Park against Clare. All within seven days.

"It just shows it's down to mentality, it's not to do with hurling," McCaffrey insists. "People would have said 'you look like you haven't hurled all winter,' or whatever, but it's to do with mentality.

"In fairness, Galway brought a big ferocity to the thing and were very sharp on the day. They were at Championship pace and, as somebody said, we were at challenge level pace, which we were.

"It's really just getting the heads right and making sure we're up for the battle. We said we were against Galway, but we weren't. Against Clare, we were and that was the big difference."

They also managed to ignore some of the soundtrack of that week, namely the red herring story of Dublin interest in Antrim's Liam Watson.

Suffice to say, McCaffrey was "very surprised," when the link was initially made.

"I don't think it would look good if a team like Dublin was looking for lads to come," he stresses.

"Fair enough, if people are playing in the county with a club team and maybe you're not from Dublin, they can still obviously play with Dublin.

"But I think going looking for a person outside the county and asking them to play wouldn't look good and, thankfully, from our point of view it didn't happen from our side."

"I think we're very happy with what we have," he adds. "The lads who have come in have added to our forward line especially and we're very happy with the panel of players we have when everyone's fully fit."


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