They’ve been accused of “fluting around” and waiting for the business end of the Championship to arrive but Cian O’Sullivan insists that’s far from Dublin’s approach.
Pundit Pat Spillane used that term to describe the All-Ireland winners’ general demeanour during their 10-point defeat of Meath last weekend, an impressive win on paper yet one that could have been a whole lot more emphatic.
Dublin dominated the second-half in particular but should have tacked on more scores than the 10 points they got in that period and seemed content to freewheel through to yet another Leinster final.
The fear is that coasting through Leinster in third gear could make it difficult for Dublin to raise their game to the next level for season defining encounters in July and August.
“The second-half the last day was a bit flat,” acknowledged Dublin defender O’Sullivan. “From our perspective, yeah, we’d be unhappy with aspects of the second-half. By and large, we got a performance against Meath so, on balance, we’re very happy with how we’re doing.
“And that’s all we can do now, build on that performance for the next day. Hopefully if we win we’re into an All-Ireland quarter-final then and it’s actually scary how fast this season is going. It feels like we’re only after coming out of pre-season yet we’re into a Leinster final already.
“I suppose we’re trying to do what we set out to do and forget the scoreline to a certain extent.
“We want to get a performance and stick to our game plan and if we do that for the full 70 minutes the scoreline should be a victory.”
The second-half of Ireland’s defeat to France at the Euros last weekend was broadcast on the Croke Park big screens to fans arriving early for the double bill of Leinster semi-final games.
Ireland’s loss appeared to set the tone for a dull day at GAA headquarters with both semi-finals afterwards failing to excite.
O’Sullivan said he was aware of the soccer result but felt it didn’t impact on their game and claimed there was no sense of anti-climax after beating Meath so easily.
“I felt the intensity out there,” said the Kilmacud Crokes man. “In the second-half the game just seemed to go down a couple of paces. From our perspective the aim was just to win and to get to a Leinster final and we achieved that. We’re looking now to the match against Westmeath on the 17th of July.”
Dublin and Meath fans were streaming for the exits long before full-time last Sunday, a sight that summed up how the rivalry between the two counties has diminished in recent times.
“That rivalry will reignite over years,” insisted O’Sullivan. “I know at underage level we enjoyed some very good battles with Meath and we had some strong battles in recent years at senior level. The likes of Cillian O’Sullivan are making the step up and coming through and I have no doubt in the next couple of years they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”
Cian O’Sullivan was speaking at the announcement that Sure will be the GAA’s official statistics partner for the next three years. Their ‘Life’s a game, #MakeYourMove’ promotion was launched at Croke Park.
Here’s a little extra sport: BallTalk TV look ahead to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
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