NHL Round 3: Dublin v Waterford 5pm Sat, 04/03/2017 Croke Park


Waterford coming off a loss to Tipp will not doubt want to bounce back with a big result. Dublin off the back of a good win with a bit of confidence growing. It’ll be interesting to see how we do against the sweeper system shite.

For this match certainly the tighter pitch in parnell would have suited Dublin much better. Waterfords game relies on the front 6 being able to roam in loads of space which is perfect for Croke park.

Would love to see a win but i doubt its on the cards. Waterford are a fair way ahead of us at the moment.


They’re certainly a more settled side. Going to be a tough afternoon but i hope we throw the kitchen sink at them and just go for it, if it’s not enough so be it.


I’m giving up on trying to predict the league. But if we have the same attitude as Saturday we could be in with a fighting chance.


I know Waterford are much better than Cork! But Cork played sweeper system on Saturday night band we did well against that! I think Waterford are far bigger than us so that could cause an issue re being muscled out of it!


Someone needs to man-mark De Burca. We can’t stop them using a sweeper, but we can stop that from being who they want it to be. They bullied the cats. We’ll need to be up for this. I hope we stick to the new game plan from last day. Stop the handpasses. Drive the ball long and fast into the forwards and fight for it in there. Pull like dogs!


Spot on Iomaint!


Excuse the pun but i know this a long shot but one way around the sweeper is to take points from out the field. Obviously the shot conversion rate would have to be near 100% to put a big score on the board but with an extra man out around the middle, most likely Mc Marrow it could be attempted. Otherwise as already stated stick someone on De Burca. Id like to see O Dwyer on him as he has that disruptive influence. But that would be taking away from what he gave us last week.

Either way its going to be a tough game. Waterford will be strong favorites which eases the pressure on the Dubs so they should just go out and let their hurling do the talking and see where it gets them


Even though Waterford play a sweeper the main area they crowd out is the middle third. I think it would be very hard for us to play the short game & try to pass through that area. Tipp had their homework done in the Munster Final last year, they left Paudie Maher the spare man & he just bombed every ball straight down on top of their full back line, thus bypassing the crowded middle third, & had support runners bombing forward for the breaks.


One of the best examples of that I have seen was the relegation play off we had with them in Waterford a few years ago. Dublin took great points that day from way out the field and won comfortably enough. Dublin also had sweepers that day and it was a very strange game - forwards were usually in a 1 against 3 situation and got swallowed up.

Although I would much prefer this to be in Parnell…


We played a lot of pretty direct ball to the FF line v Cork. Was that because of a perceived weakness in Cork or did it mark more of a change of tactic?


I would hope a change in tactic, but we will see. At minor, Conroy was constantly moved from full forward to half forward and that might be an option next day too. He actually had a fabulous game against Waterford at minor in '14 (I think it was then anyway).

O Dwyer is disruptive, but doesn’t win a huge amount of clean ball. It is difficult to know where to put him.

Whats the craic with Dotsy? Injured?


God bless your memory @Wifi


Well I certainly hope it will be used as our tactical approach in the future.
Having the short game in our locker would be fine with me, once we have the side to our game we showed against Cork. The problem with the short game is that if you do it all the time it is easy to counteract. However if you have it as a back up it could make us more unpredictable to play against. Having the ability to switch a tactic in a game is a huge plus in my view.


The problem with any tactic if you do the same thing all the time, you get figured out. Hopefully this is the start of a more flexible approach. Even Jim Gavin got burned with his predictable tactics at the time.


True. But I think the short game has been shown to be easier to counteract than other styles.

Just to add a more flexible approach would be great.

Wouldn’t even equate this to the Dublin footballers. Totally different story. Different sports, different managers, different team standings in their own sports.


true but the point stands, if you set out your stall and just go all out attack all the time, then you will come unstuck. we’re a lot harder to beat since Jim learned that the hard way.


I wouldn’t really categorise it as a short game, it is more a possession game. Every ball is supposed to go to a free man, not be a 50/50. And that makes a lot of sense. But the problem with it is the opposition, they just might not allow you a free man, so then you need men on the field who can win a 50/50.

Just hitting a ball forward now aimlessly is gone for every team. Kilkenny and Tipp will hit it into a contested zone (but still to their advantage where possible), knowing they will win the majority of them, but Dublin had no outlet for ball if they had every man covered. Thus they were turning over huge amounts of ball in the forwards, meaning our defenders had ball raining on them. Our forwards, especially in the first Tipp game this year (and last year) were not able to tackle effectively either as they were physically smaller. We have always had a decent defence, they just hadn’t a chance with the amount of ball that was coming in.

Puck outs were the prime example of this. The world and it’s mother were saying last year that once a team started picking up the free man and we had to go long we were in trouble. And the world and it’s mother was right. Dublin tried to counteract this in the Cork championship game by not going for the ball with the hand at all in our half forwards, there seemed to be a very deliberate tactic of doing that knocking the ball down to the free hand with the hurl thing on high balls. I know as a technique it is coached and liked - but I think it is something that looks well in a coaching session, but does not work on the field. A big man with a good hand will shove you out of the way every time.

In fairness to Cunningham, I don’t think he is wedded to any strategy, he is trying to find something that suits the players. But after 2.5 years he probably should have found it by now. But maybe he happened upon it last Saturday.


Let’s be honest. Cunningham made a bollocks of it with the short puck outs and the short passing, especially in the backs, for most of last year plus the Tipp match this year. We had to get hammered and young lads were sacrificed before he learnt a bit of humility, picked some tall lads in the forwards and allowed the ball to be hurled into them long and fast. Amazingly it worked. Saying we need to have a few different styles is nonsense. We need to be able to win our own ball in the forwards, from both play and puck outs. Short puck outs and short passing in the backs is nonsense. There should rarely be a need for more than two hand passes in a row. The second you have time, you let the ball in. Ask Cody and the man from Upperchurch.


He must be goosed given he’s gone back to Mark’s


On his way back from a back injury, hopefully he’ll be fit soon.