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Donal Óg Cusack Defends Dublin Hurlers After John Mullane Criticism

Donal Óg Cusack Defends Dublin Hurlers After John Mullane Criticism
By PJ Browne Updated

Following Kilkenny's 17-point victory over Dublin in the Leinster Hurling Championship on Saturday, John Mullane hit the capital's hurlers with some strong criticism for remaining on the pitch to pose for photos with supporters.

Mullane said he was "not going on a Roy Keane rant" before doing just that.

"I'm looking out here at the Dublin players," the former Waterford hurler told RTÉ Radio 1.

"They're still out on the field getting selfies, getting pats on the back, laughing and joking with their friends. They're after being beaten by 17 points, get in off the field. Don't be laughing and joking out on the field. Get ready for Galway next week. I think it's pathetic.

"I know you have to give autographs, and get into photos, but there's a time and a place. If this is the direction Dublin are going, in contrast to where they were under Anthony Daly...

"What I'm seeing here now, you wonder why they're not closing the gap, pushing on and taking on the bigger counties - what my eyes are seeing here is the sole reason. Half-an-hour later, all the Kilkenny players are gone in off the field, and all the Dublin players are still out there."

Speaking on the Sunday Game, Donal Óg Cusack defended the Dublin players.

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"I'd be slow enough to criticise players about that," he said.

"I think it's a beautiful thing that we see with our players, that they stay around the game after, and take selfies. It's not because they want to be doing that. I'd say sometimes that there's a lack of understanding from a crowd about what players are actually going through. I think it's testament to the type of player that we have, that they will stay on the field.

"I have no doubt that when the Dublin players woke up this morning, they felt terrible, they feel as bad as any other players in the country when they lose a championship game.

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"I get where John is coming from, and it made for good radio, probably. I'd be really slow to not keep encouraging our players - no matter what you are going through yourself - to stay there, especially in Dublin.

"We know that the game needs characters, it needs heroes in Dublin, and the last thing you want somebody going out of Parnell Park last night was an impression of the Dublin hurlers that they got beaten by [17 points], and then they wouldn't even stay and get their picture taken. You're in a no win position."

Anthony Daly, who managed Dublin to the 2013 Leinster title, added: "It's the last place they wanted to be, but it's courtesy. They are not looking for the limelight. Those guys are just obliging families who came onto the field."

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See Also: Jim McGuinness's Gut Tells Him Dublin Will Win The All-Ireland

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