Dublin hurler Liam Rushe is determined that he and his team-mates put the cold lessons of the last two summers to good use when the Dubs come face-to-face with an improving Limerick in this Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final at Semple Stdium (2.0).
Two years ago the Dubs made the championship exit at the hands of a more physical and experienced Limerick side in Thurles while last summer the boys in blue saw a six-point advantage vanish in the dying minutes as Antrim shocked Anthony Daly’s men in Croke Park.
“I would like to see how many starters we have from that day now,” says Rushe looking back at the 2009 clash with the Shannonsiders. ”Probably only five or six from that team. It’s been a massive turnarounound
“I didn’t realise then how young we were. I was just gone 19. The same with Peter Kelly and Gougher (Oisín Gough) and people like that.
“We’re two years older and we had the experience of last year so hopefully, we won’t make the same mistakes of two years ago.”
“We just didn’t kick on,” adds Rushe reflecting on the Dubs great start to the game. “We let them back into the game. We were up by six points early in the game. We just let them claw us back. When you get a lead, you have got to hold it.
“Like Kilkenny did to us the other week. They got a lead and they kept us at arm’s length. You have really got to attack a lead at this level. If you don’t and they claw their way back in, they have got the momentum all of a sudden. You have just got to put matches to bed.
“We just started going for goals and doing stupid things. We started launching balls into a two-man full-forward line when they had Stephen Lucey floating around in front of them. We didn’t play the match properly. It’s just that bit of inexperience.”
“It will be a huge challenge. They had a comprehensive win over Antrim. They did a lot better against them than we did last year.
“They’re organised and that’s half the battle. As well as that, they play a different sort of hurling this year and that’s something that we won’t have come across this season. But we look forward to these challenges,” concludes the St Pat’s of Palmerstown man who last week captained the county’s under-21 hurlers to provincial honours.