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We lacked the fight for Cats

THE training session after the disaster before.

Dublin's battered and bruised hurlers congregated in Parnell Park on Tuesday night for their first group session after the Kilkenny debacle in Portlaoise last Saturday and, somewhat predictably, Anthony Daly revealed that there were a few "home truths" told when they gathered on the terrace after an internal practise match designed to let off the pent-up steam from the weekend.

"We talked and anyone who wanted to talk was free to talk and I suppose there was a bit of laying down the law from management too," Daly told the Herald.

"But we certainly didn't make it all one-way traffic.

"Anyone who wanted to express their opinion, they were entitled to do that.

"But management wanted to make a few points or a few home truths or however you wanted to describe it.

"We opened it up and I think they had their own chat then afterwards. It was open enough."

What consensus they came to will remain within the group for the time being, but blame was spread evenly amongst those involved.

True, by universal opinion, Kilkenny were awesome on the day, but Daly saw the problems in terms of black and white rather than black and amber.

"We didn't fight hard enough," he insisted, "and if you're not willing to fight hard enough, you've no chance.

"Even if you were at your very best, you mightn't be good enough to beat Kilkenny at the moment, but going out with that sort of an attitude, you've no chance."


Directly after the match, Daly was at a loss to explain why such an attitude contaminated the group, but he feels now there are plenty of contributory factors, mostly self-contained.

"I suppose that fellas did probably feel that everything was right and then the performance should automatically happen," he explained. "But that's not the way it works. You go out and make it happen. You have to fight the fight and we certainly didn't. We made it all too easy for them."

He added: "A lot of people said the second goal was the one but I felt the first goal, some of the body language after it was telling.

"You could nearly sense from some fellas that it was nearly going through them, 'Here we go again'."

There had, he stressed, been no warning signs that such a dire Dublin performance was in the offing.

"We did prepare as well as I have ever with any team. I think the gist of what we thought was that everything was right.

"We had busted our arses and then rested up thinking we would deliver on the day, but you actually must walk the walk. It doesn't matter whether you prepare well. You have to fight for every high ball and low ball and actually go to the ball.


"I think we got one block down after 27 minutes. That would indicate you're just not working hard enough.

"That tells its own story. Fellas didn't intentionally go out to do that. There was no element of laziness there.

"If you don't put your body on the line, you have no chance against teams like Kilkenny, or Clare for that matter.

"It's sort of a primal sport in a lot of ways. For all your tactics and planning, you have to go to the ball with bravery or you won't be winning too much of it."

Daly, like Davy Fitzgerald, reckons he sensed the draw would pit him against his former county and Clare colleague and says while contact will be minimal between now and the trip to Ennis on July 7, they won't let the looming clash come between their relationship.

"I would have texted him an aul' 'best of luck' before the Waterford game and a 'hard luck' afterwards," he said.

"And likewise, he would have done the same after and before the Kilkenny game and he was saying, 'We'll surely meet now'.

"Maybe it was fate that it panned out like that.

"But look, we won't be doing too much talking between now and then, but we won't be falling out either.

"We've been through a good bit together through the years."