‘Jack McCaffrey gone from the Dublin panel, Robbie McDaid gets man of the match’

Updated Dec 7th 2020, 3:00 PM

DUBLIN SEALED A return to their sixth successive All-Ireland final after a convincing win over Cavan at the weekend.

What impressed Marc Ó Sé most about Dessie Farrell’s side was how they’ve handled the loss of a star player like Jack McCaffrey without missing a beat.

His replacement on the half-back line was Ballyboden St Enda’s star Robbie McDaid, who scored 1-2 and picked up man-of-the-match after a his best performance in the Dublin jersey.

“We saw what Brian Howard in his first year on the team. Now he can’t even get his place on the team at the moment,” said Ó Sé on this week’s episode of The42′s GAA Weekly.

“They’re introducing a player or two or three every year and these guys are having a huge effect. Jack McCaffrey gone from the Dublin panel, Robbie McDaid gets man of the match.

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“What they’re doing is just on another level. Paddy Small coming in at corner-forward and keeping Paul Mannion off the team. If you can just have those two or three players coming in every year it’s bound to help you out and it’s going to create that competition and keep everyone tuned in.”

The Kerry legend says Dublin won’t be beaten until they face a side who have a similar calibre of forwards.

“I think maybe teams are fearful, they’re not confident taking on Dublin man for man. Because Dublin have too many threats, up front in particular. You have six scoring forwards, you have fellas that can come in the likes of Howard, Mannion and Kevin McManamon.

“The only way to beat Dublin is to outscore them really and to do that you have to go after them and you’ve to really take the game to them. You can’t be sitting back, you have to go at them.

“You need to have forwards you can trust, that are dangerous. If you don’t have forwards that are the same calibre as the Dubs then maybe teams are saying, ‘Right, we’ll set-up a bit different.’ I don’t think Dublin will be defeated until such time as you have fellas who are really going after them and not afraid of taking them on man for man. ”

Dublin’s opponents in the final will be Mayo, who beat Tipperary by 5-20 to 3-13 in the other semi-final. Shane Dowling noticed the word ‘fearless’ written across Mayo’s warm-up tops prior to the game and questioned why such a message was required.

“Mayo seem to be very much business like this year and they’re taking care of teams with a lot less fuss,” he observed.

“Looking in from the outside it’s great to see them being as ruthless as they were today because it was game over in the first-half. I don’t know if you noticed in the warm-up today they had ruthless written across their bibs for everyone to see.

“Now for me, I think that’s a load of bullshit and it’s an aul thing for people to look in at and say, ‘Jaysus, aren’t them boys great.’ It kind of reminds me of fellas writing stuff on their wrists before a game, that they need to look at their wrist to remind them to work hard or something.

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“I could never understand that. If you want to work you tell yourself before the game and you go out and do it. And if you want to be ruthless you want to do it in training and have it in your head before you go out. But anyway, everyone to themselves.

“I like Mayo and I like the Mayo players and all that but I just thought that was too much. Now if it works for them and they win the All-Ireland, more power to them.”

Finally, Dowling asked Ó Sé to pick the best Dublin 15 he has seen since 2011.

Marc Ó Sé’s best Dublin XV since 2011

1. Stephen Cluxton

2. Jonny Cooper
3. Rory O’Carroll
4. Mick Fitzsimons

5. Jack McCaffrey
6. Cian O’Sullivan
7. John Small

8. Brian Fenton
9. James McCarthy

10. Paul Flynn
11. Ciaran Kilkenny
12. Diarmuid Connolly

13. Alan Brogan
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Bernard Brogan

Subscribe to The42′s new member-led GAA Championship show with Marc Ó Sé and Shane Dowling. 

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