The difference for me in the two teams last night was athleticism, Kilkenny were generally faster and more flexible to off load in a tackle. But this is a very good Kilkenny team and they could well go all the way, so there is no great shame in defeat. But the lack of natural athleticism is going to be a problem for Dublin as the best we have in this area also tend to be the best footballers.
The wides are mentioned above a bit, but the wind was horrific. It was very strong and directly into one corner. Both teams suffered equally from wides.
PP2017 critiques the management a bit with good points, and in hindsight there is stuff that could have been done. But I don't think there was much that would have changed the outcome really. But in general I thought all the first years u21s didn't adapt well to the physicality of the step up, which shows the madness of thinking they could do a job at senior county level. McBride is our best U21, he was our best minor 3 years ago and they only put him on at half time in the senior game.
I actually don't think Burke was tired as mentioned. I think that is his level. He is a first year U21, and for that age he played quiet well. He isn't a superstar, he could well grow into one, but he isn't now and I don't think anyone should expect it of him just because Cunningham decided to make a point with him. Young O Sullivan came on, also a great young lad, but he showed too that he is just barely ready for U21 let alone starting against the AI champions at senior level. These guys are fabulous talents, they need to be nurtured not battered by guys much older and bigger.
I thought things could have been moved around a bit more, but in a 60 minute game it is hard. I would have put Conroy to FF and bought Burke out. It might have helped both of them. Conroy wasn't great in the air, but he was effective from general play throughout.
Someone bought this notion to Dublin of going for a high ball with the hurl and keeping a hand free to catch the ball, and it is a disaster. It just doesn't work against good hurlers but it has damaged a generation of Dublin hurlers. I could pick out a Dublin team playing a mile away just by the amount of guys that do this.
Also the short ball out of defence is so drilled into them now that they play it even when it isn't on. Generally I agree with keeping possession. But in a choice between giving a 50/50 ball 3 yards away or 70 yards away, the 70 yard option is infinitely preferable. Even if there is nothing on when you play it, by the time the ball arrives people have time to get into position. We gave away a mountain of ball by playing it short to guys who hadn't time or space to react. It is forgotten the guy receiving the ball has to catch it and turn, the guy marking him just has to break it. He has all the advantages.
But really I thought the team didn't play as well or as cohesively as I think they can. But it was their first competitive game and they had to make early changes which didn't help. If they had got a few more games before playing KK it might have been better.
On the managerial thing mentioned above, I would have to say that the Dublin team that I have seen most play above themselves and with good team work was last years U21s. So for me Fortune seems to know what he is about. But that is based on a small sample size as they say. I would still think Boland was one of our most impressive managers at under age though.