Galway hurling captain David Burke says the team must bring their training ground form to Nowlan Park this Sunday.
With three points on the board after their two home games in the Leinster SHC round-robin, Galway will have to topple either Kilkenny or Dublin over the coming fortnight to put themselves in the frame for a top-three finish.
First up is this Sunday’s trip to Nowlan Park, a venue where Kilkenny have not lost a championship fixture since the 1949 Leinster final reverse to Laois.
The Galway hurlers decamped to Carton House last weekend and Burke insists they must start replicating their training ground form on championship Sundays – the Tribesmen were way below par in their opening games at home to Carlow and Wexford.
“Between [Daithí Burke, Joseph Cooney, and Jonathan Glynn] coming back and the guys who are there, everyone is pushing really hard. Training has gone really well and the matches have gone really well in training. It is about bringing that good form into performances and into winning matches over the next two weeks,” Burke told Galway Bay FM.
“It is only good to have [Daithi, Joseph, and Jonathan] back and that can only build the strength of the squad. We’ll be hoping for a big win on Sunday.
“There were a lot of aspects to our play [against Wexford and Carlow] that we had to work on over the last two weeks and hopefully, we can get them things right on Sunday and get a performance. We got three points out of a possible four [from the opening two rounds]. Everyone would have liked to have got four, but we know that Wexford are a good and improving team. That was a really tough game. Had Wexford got a run on any other team, they probably would have won it by five or six points, but we dug deep and got the draw out of it.”
Galway and Kilkenny met three times in last year’s championship, with the Leinster final stalemate the closest Brian Cody’s side were able to come to the then All-Ireland champions. Kilkenny have won seven of their championship clashes since the westerners joined the province 10 years ago. Burke, who played his 50th championship game for the county against Wexford, has described Sunday as a “massive test” for a misfiring Galway side.
“The team that works the hardest, ultimately, wins these games. Sunday will be no different. They really put us to the pin of our collar last year in three games. We know what they can bring. Tactically, it will be man for man. We’re looking forward to that.”
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